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1, 3, aot 5 BOND STREET. 

Copyright, 1SS6, 

I c V t) C 





MAY, 1886. 



ANY practical scheme of railroad control is likely to be based upon 
a compromise. The different interests involved are so conflict- 
ing that it will not do to attempt a solution from any one standpoint 
exclusively. The direction which legislation is to take can not be de- 
cided by a mere consideration of complaints against the existing sys- 
tem, whether well-grounded or otherwise. We must also consider 
what other systems have been tried, and what evils they have involved ; 
what lines of treatment have been undertaken, and how far it has been 
found possible to carry them out. It is not a question what we would 
like to do, so much as what we actually can do. 

The community requires four things of its railroad system : 

1. That it shall afford sufficient facilities to meet the wants of busi- 
ness. In other words, there must be enterprise in building new lines, 
and in keeping the old ones up to a high standard of efficiency. 

2. That the charges, as a whole, shall be as reasonable as possible. 
If they are higher than those of other countries, or higher than is 
necessary for the support of the railroads, the business development 
of the community will be retarded. 

3. That there shall not be arbitrary differences in charge which 
force business into unnatural and wasteful channels, or cripple one 
man for the enrichment of another. 

4. That there shall be as little waste of capital as possible, either 
by corruption, extravagance, or want of business skill. This is not 
quite so vital a matter as the other three, but it is one which we can 
not afford to leave out of account. 

No system of regulation is ever likely to be devised which shall 
secure all these results. Free competition, as we have tried it in 



America, produces rapid construction and low rates, but fosters dis- 
crimination and extravagance ; thus securing the first and second 
requirements, at the sacrifice of the third and fourth. The French 
system of regulated monopoly has just the opposite effect ; it pre- 
vents waste and discrimination, but development is slow and rates are 
high. The third and fourth requirements are secured at the expense 
of the first and second. England enjoys the first and fourth advan- 
tages, at the sacrifice of the second and third ; Italy has secured the 
second and third, but failed of the first and fourth. The Granger sys- 
tem of regulation sacrificed the first in the effort to secure the second. 
Partial state ownership, as we shall see, secures nothing at all ; exclu- 
sive state ownership secures the third, at great risk of sacrificing all 
the others. 

The different requirements are to a certain extent in conflict with 
one another. This conflict can only be understood by studying the 
history of railroads, and the principles which underlie railroad business 
management. These are quite imperfectly known at present. There 
is probably no subject of equal importance on which public enlighten- 
ment is so much needed. The capital invested in the railroads of our 
country is eight times that of its banking institutions ; the tonnage 
carried by rail is four times that carried by water ; the abuses in inter- 
nal commerce come home to most of us far more directly than those in 
foreign commerce. Yet, for every man who has studied the political 
economy of railroads, there are a dozen who have studied that of ship- 
ping and foreign trade, and a hundred who have studied that of bank- 
ing. The complications of the subject are hardly recognized. Railroad 
reformers are far too ready to blindly pursue one specific object or com- 
bat one specific abuse, regardless what other objects may be sacrificed, 
or what other abuses fostered by their policy. 

From 1830 to 1873 the main object of nearly every community was 
to secure rapid development of railroad facilities the first of the four 
requirements we have named. The railroad proved so much superior 
to other modes of transportation, that the country which had railroads 
prospered ; that which had not railroads fell behind. Legislation was 
everywhere devised to favor this end. Where capital was ready to 
invest, every encouragement was offered it. If the removal of obsta- 
cles was not enough, a subsidy was generally to be had for the asking. 
If the community could not afford to pay a subsidy outright, it guar- 
anteed a certain income to the road. If all these inducements were 
insufficient, the state stepped in and built the road itself. In England, 
where there was plenty of capital seeking investment, railroads were 
chartered literally by hundreds. In America they were not only ex- 
empted from the necessity of securing special charters, but received 
municipal aid, as well as grants of public land on a scale which was 
often outrageous. In France the state paid half the cost of building 
the road, and offered the companies monopoly privileges as an induce- 


ment for supplying the other half. Belgium built the main lines of 
road at state expense for state management ; but at the same time 
the building of private lines was also encouraged in every possible 
way. It was not until too late that men saw what chaaces for waste 
and corruption were involved in this indiscriminate encouragement of 
railroad construction. England learned the lesson in 1847 ; Conti- 
nental Europe in 1873. In spite of the severe experiences of 1857, 
1873, and 1884, it is by no means certain that America has learned it 
even yet. 

For a long time the only fear was that railroad charges would 
be too high ; and this fear was happily disappointed. The maximum 
rates which were fixed in the earliest charters were useless, simply be- 
cause the railroads generally adopted a lower scale of their own accord. 
It was found that the profits depended quite as much upon the volume 
of business as upon the absolute rates charged, and that it was often 
better to do a large business at low rates than a smaller business at 
higher rates. This is of course true to some extent in every depart- 
ment of industry, but there are reasons which make it apply specially 
to railroads. About half* the expenses of a railroad are to a consider- 
able extent independent of the amount of work done. Thus an increase 
in the volume of traffic does not produce a corresponding increase 
in cost. 

Railroad expenses may be roughly divided into two classes, accord- 
ing as they do or do not vary with the amount of business done. 
Those which do not vary rapidly are called fixed charges. This in- 
cludes interest on cost of construction, the general expenses of the 
organization as a whole, and a considerable part of the expense of 
maintenance, which is due to weather rather than to wear. Those 
expenses which vary nearly in proportion to the amount of business 
done are called operating expenses. Under this head are included the 
different items of train and station service, with some others. The 
fixed charges of the railroads of the United States average somewhat 
over $2,500 per mile annually ; the operating expenses average from 
forty to sixty cents per train-mile. 

In order that a railroad as a whole may be profitable, it is neces- 
sary that it should earn money enough to pay fixed charges as well as 
operating expenses. But, in order to secure any individual piece of 
business, it can afford to make rates which shall little more than cover 
operating expenses, provided such business can be had on no other 
terms. To secure traffic which it could not otherwise have, a railroad 
can afford to make rates which would bankrupt it if applied to its whole 

* In Mr. Lansing's valuable article on this subject (" Popular Science Monthly," Feb- 
ruary, 1886), the proportion is estimated considerably higher. Any argument on the rea- 
sons for the difference would be of too technical a character to come within the scope of 
this discussion. 


Such was the origin of discriminations. Sure of a certain amount of 
traffic at high rates, which would contribute its full share to the pay- 
ment of fixed charges, each railroad strove to secure additional traffic 
at lower rates which would little more than pay operating expenses. 
This reduction was first made in favor of articles of low value, like 
coal, stone, or lumber, which could not be moved at all at high rates, 
but which could furnish a large business at low rates. Here it was an 
unmixed benefit to the public. The reduction was next applied in 
favor of long-distance traffic ; and here also it was a good thing in 
principle, though sometimes overdone in practice. Under the old sys- 
tem of equal mileage rates, where the charge was made proportional 
to the distance, it would have cost something like a dollar a bushel to 
get wheat from the Mississippi Valley to the seaboard ; a price which 
would have been simply prohibitory to the growth of the Western 

There were special circumstances which led the railroads to give 
the long-distance traffic more than its due share of favor. A great 
deal of this traffic had the benefit of competition, either between sev- 
eral lines of railroad, or between rail and water routes. The reduc- 
tions in rates were made most rapidly where such competition was 
most active that is, at the laro^e cities. The result was a svstem 
which favored cities at the expense of the country by no means a 
good thing. But this was not the worst. In any period of active rail- 
road competition large shippers were almost always given lower rates 
than small shippers. Amid the constant variation of rates, unscrupu- 
lous men gained advantages at the expense of more honorable men. 
Secret favors were generally given to those who least needed or least 
deserved them. The railroad agents forgot their obligations to the 
public as common carriers. Too often they were ready to sacrifice 
even the permanent interests of the stockholders themselves in the 
lawless struggle for competitive business. 

It must not be forgotten that railroad competition did some things 
for the country which nothing else could possibly have done. It 
taught our railroad men to handle a large business cheaply. It taught 
them to make money at rates which would have seemed suicidal to the 
easy-going managers who were not uoder any such stimulus. The 
rapid reductions of charge, in other countries as well as America, have 
been made in the stress of railroad wars. But, while railroad compe- 
tition has been in some respects a beneficent force, it can not be trusted 
to act unchecked. To the business community regularity and pub- 
licity of rates are more important than mere average cheapness. Busi- 
ness can adjust itself to high rates easier than to fluctuating ones. 
And railroad competition of necessity makes rates fluctuate. It tends 
to bring them down to the level of operating expenses, regardless of 
fixed charges. If it acts everywhere, as in the case of the New York 
Central and West Shore, it leaves little or nothing to pay fixed charges, 


and means ruin to the investor, followed by consolidation. If it acts 
at some points and not at others, those points which have the benefit 
of competition have rates based on operating expenses, while the less 
fortunate points pay the fixed charges. Then we have discrimination 
in a dangerous form. 

As long as competition exists, there is no escape from this alterna- 
tive. If it exists at all points, it means ruin ; if it exists at some 
points, it means discrimination. The efforts to prevent these results 
by law while retaining the principle of competition, only show how 
powerless we really are in this matter. Let us look at them in order. 

The first legislators tried to treat the railroad as a public highway, 
over which any man should be at liberty to run cars, as he can run 
boats over a canal or wagons over a turnpike. This idea was incor- 
porated in the railroad charters of England and Prussia. It has never 
been quite abandoned by theorists ; but practically it has proved a 
failure wherever tried. Physically it is impossible, on account of the 
danger of collision ; industrially it is impossible, on account of the 
added expense. Nobody would build a railroad on such terms unless 
the mere tolls for the use of the track were to be made higher than 
the whole transportation charge now is. 

A second plan for making competition a public benefit has been 
that of state ownership of part of the competing lines. It has been 
tried on a large scale in Belgium and Prussia, and on a smaller scale in 
most other countries, the United States not excepted. It was thought 
by the advocates of the system that the government would thus obtain 
a controlling influence over the railroads with which it came in contact, 
and be able to regulate their policy by its example. These hopes have 
been disappointed. The private railroads under such circumstances 
regulate those of the government far more than the government regu- 
lates the private railroads. There is no chance to carry out any schemes 
of far-sighted policy. If the private roads are run to make money, the 
government roads must be managed with the same end in view. The 
tax-payers will not let the government lines show a deficit while com- 
peting private lines pay dividends. No administration would dare to 
allow such a thing, however important the end to be attained. As a 
matter of fact the government roads of Belgium and Germany were 
as ready to give rebates as the private lines with which they came 
into competition. In Belgium they went so far as to grant special 
rates to those persons who would agree not to ship by canal under any 
circumstances. The same thing has been done in New York State ; 
but in Belgium the peculiar thing was that the canals and railroads 
both belonged to the government, and yet were fighting one another 
in this way. The system of partial state ownership was hardly distin- 
guishable in its effects from simple private ownership. This fact has 
been clearly recognized within the last twelve years. Within this 
period, Belgium, Prussia, and Italy have abandoned the "mixed sys- 


tern." Belgium and Prussia have made state management all but uni- 
versal ; Italy has practically given it up. 

Of much more importance in the United States has been the effort 
to regulate charges by legislation, without touching the question of 
ownership. There was no lack of authority for so doing. Common 
carriers had been made the subject of special regulation from time 
immemorial, and it was a well-accepted principle that their charges 
must be reasonable. 

But what constitutes a reasonable charge ? On what basis are we 
to compute it ? 

It is by no means a sufficient answer to say that rates should be 
based upon cost of service. What items of cost shall we include ? 
Shall we count the fixed charges, or simply consider operating ex- 
penses? In the earliest legislation the former course was adopted. 
The English tolls and maxima were calculated upon this basis. But 
they were soon found to be so high as to be almost inoperative. At 
any rate, they did not prevent discrimination. They allowed the rail- 
road to earn its fixed charges where it chose, and to lower rates else- 
where. A prescribed rate of this kind is too high to be of any use. 

On the other hand, to prescribe a rate which does not provide for 
fixed charges is even worse. This was tried in the Mississippi Valley 
in the Granger movement. It was argued by the farmers that, if 
the railroads could afford to carry their competitive traffic at very low 
rates, they could afford to do the same for the local traffic. All rates 
were therefore reduced by law to the basis of the competitive ones. 
What was the result ? In Wisconsin, where the system was carried 
out most completely, a law of this kind was in operation for two years. 
At the end of that time, not a single railroad was paying dividends ; 
only four were paying interest on their bonds. Railroad construction 
was at a stand-still. The existing roads could not afford to extend 
their facilities for traffic. The development of the State was checked 
checked so abruptly that the very men who were most clamorous 
for the railroad law in 1874 were most clamorous for its repeal in 1876. 
In their anxiety to secure low rates, they had overlooked the necessity 
for railroad development. This oversight reacted forcibly against 
them ; and the same reaction is likely to be felt wherever reckless rail- 
road legislation is attempted. Our railroad profits are not so high as 
is often supposed. They are less than four per cent on the nominal 
capital ; and, making all due allowance for water, probably less than 
six per cent on the actual investment. Admit, if you please, that the 
corruption of inside rings absorbs an additional amount which ought 
to go to the investor ; this does not affect the fact that, if your legis- 
lation prevents the investor from receiving his dividends, he will not 
invest his capital in your State. It is not now a question of ethics 
as to what you or he ought to do ; it is a matter of fact, proved by 
actual experience as to what he will do. 


Fortunately, no other State had quite so severe an experience as 
Wisconsin. There were somewhat similar laws in other States, for 
instance, in Illinois ; but the enforcement of the Illinois law was in- 
trusted to a commission. The commissioners were not men of expe- 
rience in these matters, but they had the sense to see that the attempt 
to reduce rates too sharply would defeat the purposes in view. They 
therefore used their powers with some discretion ; not attempting to re- 
duce rates everywhere at once, but simply to correct the worst abuses. 
They were not altogether successful, but they made no such disastrous 
failure as occurred in Wisconsin. 

There is an undeniable advantage in entrusting the execution of 
such a law to the somewhat discretionary power of a commission. A 
court is not well qualified to enforce a hard and fast law concerning 
railroad rates. The courts are compelled to rely somewhat blindly 
upon precedent ; while railroad management is so new a thing that 
the precedents derived from other lines of business are often mislead- 
ing. The best proof of the usefulness of railroad commissions is the 
extent to which they have prevailed. Nearly two thirds of our States 
have them ; there is scarcely a serious attempt at railroad regulation 
in the United States except through some such agency. 

But, even in the best hands, the power to fix rates is of somewhat 
doubtful utility. More effective statutes have been aimed at discrimi- 
nation itself not to fix the rate, but to limit the chance for arbitrary 
differences. In one sense it ought hardly to need a statute to do this. 
Secret rebates and personal discriminations are so clearly against the 
spirit of the law of common carriers, that to call public attention au- 
thoritatively to these things is to condemn them. The work of the 
Hepburn Committee in New York, in 1879, had a value of this kind, 
quite apart from any positive legislation which it secured. The value 
of similar work done by certain railroad commissions can hardly be 

The worst abuses may be thus checked ; but, as long as competition 
is at all active, there will be a good deal of local discrimination in favor 
of competitive points, which the common law is powerless to prevent. 
Against this system the so-called " short-haul " laws have been aimed. 
Probably no other point with regard to railroad regulation has been 
made the subject of so much discussion. 

The short-haul principle provides that a railroad shall not charge 
a larger gross sum for a part of any route than it does for the whole 
not more, for instance, from Chicago to Springfield, Massachusetts, 
than from Chicago to Boston. It is thus intended to prevent the 
more outrageous forms of local discrimination. There can be no doubt 
that as a general principle it is correct. But it is not one which it is 
always possible to enforce by law. If the law can reach all the rival 
routes, and can be enforced against all of them, it does much good and 
little or no harm. But, if it reaches one route and not another, it sim- 


ply makes the other route a present of the through traffic. What, for 
instance, would be the effect of a national short-haul law on the move- 
ment of wheat from Chicago to the seaboard ? At present, it is a traf- 
fic which the railroads can afford to make special efforts to secure, and 
they bring the rates down nearly to the level of operating expenses. 
If they reduced local rates to this basis, they would have nothing left 
to pay fixed charges. The only way by which they could comply with 
the law would be by raising through rates. This would simply have 
the effect of sending the wheat to Europe via Montreal instead of via 
American ports. The Grand Trunk Railroad, which would be outside 
of our control, would have the chance to make low through rates, and 
get the heavy through traffic. The English stockholders of the Grand 
Trunk would be the persons most benefited by such a law. 

It is only a few years since the Prussian Government got into 
trouble in exactly this way. It was thought by the authorities that 
the low through rates favored the foreigners at the expense of the 
Germans ; and an attempt was made to carry out the short-haul prin- 
ciple rigidly. The result simply was that the foreigners sent their 
goods by other routes which Bismarck was unable to control, and that 
the Prussian railroads lost a part of their traffic, which, low as were 
the rates charged upon it, was yet a matter of importance to their 
business prosperity. 

Similar instances could be cited from almost any other country. 
Whenever we find a competitor which our law can not reach be it 
water-route, foreign railroad, or domestic railroad which violates the 
law in an underhand fashion the short-haul principle simply cripples 
the roads which obey it, without producing any corresponding good 

Experience has shown pretty clearly that local discrimination can 
be avoided only by bringing competition under control. The States 
where legal regulation of this matter has been most successful have 
been those like Georgia and Iowa, where the pooling system has been 
strongest and most stable, or those like Massachusetts, where competi- 
tion has become, in local business, largely a thing of the past. Every- 
where, in America and in Europe, periods of active competition have 
been periods of active discrimination. To check the second you must 
control the first. And the only practicable way of doing this, short 
of actual consolidation, is by a system of pooling. The mere agree- 
ment to maintain rates is not enough,; it is too easily violated by se- 
cret rebates. An agreement to divide the traffic or the earnings, as 
long as it holds at all, is much harder to violate secretly. This is what 
constitutes a "pool." 

We are thus reduced to the simple alternative, pooling or discrimi- 
nation. Each effort to prohibit both at the same time only makes the 
necessity more clear. The governments of Continental Europe have 
ceased to struggle against it. Rightly judging that discrimination is 


the main evil, they recognize pools as the most effective method of 
combating it. State roads enter into pooling contracts with private 
roads, railroads divide traffic with competing water-routes. The law, 
recognizing such contracts, is able to regulate them, and to deal with 
organizations of railroads better than it could deal with railroads indi- 


In this respect they have the advantage over us in America. In 
our vain effort to prohibit pools altogether, we have simply intensified 
their worst features. By refusing to recognize them at all, we have 
rejected the chance to regulate them. We have done worse than this. 
By taking all permanent guarantees away from them, we have forced 
them to pursue a short-sighted policy. The prejudice against pools, as 
we have often seen them, is not an unreasonable one ; but the fault is 
in the law quite as much as in the system. Admit, if you please 
(though it is by no means clear), that the disastrous multiplication of 
roads in 1882 was mainly due to the short-sighted manipulation of 
rates under the pooling systems : what then ? Such short-sighted 
policy was an almost necessary result of a legal theory which refused 
to enforce pooling contracts, and made their continuance depend upon 
the voluntary adhesion of all parties. The pool was compelled to 
adopt a policy which should keep every one in good-humor for the day. 
The moment the directors of a single road were dissatisfied with pres- 
ent results, they could break the system down, regardless either of the 
rights of others or of their own permanent welfare. 

No policy can be more suicidal than this. The temporary inter- 
ests of the railroads often diverge widely from those of the commu- 
nity which they serve. Their permanent interests are almost identical. 
The sound and strong roads, with a permanent character to sustain, 
are much more likely to be managed in the public interest than roads 
on the verge of bankruptcy, whose only thought is for the present. 
Yet all our legislation is directed against roads of the former class. 
We place them at the mercy of reckless competition in the matter of 
rates. We allow the building of insolvent competitors by construc- 
tion companies whose operations are no better than blackmail. We 
strive to limit their dividends, when the only practical results of such 
a measure will be diminution of enterprise and increase of extrava- 
gance. In our fear that the influence of railroad managers may be- 
come too great, we have devised laws which seriously interfere with 
their power for good, and leave their power for evil almost unchecked. 

To this sweeping statement one important exception must be made. 
More by accident than by design, the railroad commissioners in a num- 
ber of our States have become the representatives of the permanent 
interests of the railroads and community alike, against the short-sight- 
ed policy of extremists on either side. The history of the Massachu- 
setts Commission has presented the most marked instance of what can 
be done in this way, by a body of men having no power except the 


power to secure publicity ; it is perhaps the most encouraging exam- 
ple in recent history of the power of government by public opinion. 

Whether a national commission could work successfully in this 
way is very doubtful. The public opinion of the nation as a whole 
is not so easily brought to bear in any one direction as is that of a 
single State. The national railroad system is too vast, the interests of 
different sections too conflicting. It is desirable that a national com- 
mission should be charged with the enforcement of certain specific 
provisions against discrimination. It would be a herculean task ; but 
it is one which needs to be done, and one which we may feel reason- 
ably sure that the courts could not even attempt to do. 

On the other hand, it is desirable that the commission should not be 
a mere prosecuting body, but should depend for its force upon the in- 
fluence of public opinion behind it. In this respect, the bill now be- 
fore the United States Senate is a good one. It avoids alike the error 
of those who would give the commission no definite authority, and 
those who would charge it with doing what is actually impossible. 
The bill, as reported, rigidly prohibits personal discrimination, and 
generally prohibits local discrimination ; but under this latter head it 
empowers the commission to make exceptions. It says nothing about 
pools ; and, if this discreet silence is maintained, such a commission 
might readily use pools as a means of protecting the shipper against 
discrimination, instead of allowing them to be used solely for the pur- 
poses of the railroad investors and managers. 

The great danger is, that the bill is too moderate to pass. In spite 
of all that has been said and written on railroad questions, the great 
majority of men are extremists on this subject. Some want an abso- 
lute let-alone policy ; some want an energetic attempt at control 
which would really defeat its own ends. Both of these classes are op- 
posed to a bill of this kind. The advocates of the let-alone policy are 
afraid that it would be enforced. The advocates of vigorous control 
are afraid that it would stand in the way of more decisive action. 
They feel and not altogether without reason that the prolonged ab- 
sence of national control may ultimately bring the question of govern- 
ment ownership in the foreground. 

It must be remembered that a very considerable portion of the 
community believes in government railroad ownership, at least as an 
ideal. They perhaps exaggerate the evils of the present system, and 
certainly have the most unreasonable expectations of the good to be 
obtained from a change. It has been seriously argued with much 
show of figures, in a reputable working-men's paper, that it is possible 
to carry passengers from New York to San Francisco at a dollar apiece 
and make money on it, and that everything above this represents sheer 
extortion, which would be avoided by government ownership ! Now, 
as long as these things are believed, their absurdity makes them none 
the less dangerous. In forecasting the future, we must reckon with 


the number of votes, and not simply with the value of the argument 
by which those votes have been influenced. Each year's failure to 
adopt any measure of national control probably increases the number 
of votes which would be cast in favor of government ownership. 

It can not be denied that government ownership furnishes the best 
theoretical solution of the railroad problem, if we could only assume 
that the Government were possessed of infinite wisdom and virtue. 
But practically this condition is far from being realized in the United 
States. The question is a practical rather than a theoretical one. In 
countries like Germany, where the civil service represents the best ele- 
ments of the nation, state railroads have been a success, simply because 
of that fact. Whatever system will give you the best administrative 
talent is likely to prove most successful. But it would be a bold 
thing to say that the best administrative talent of the United States 
found its way into the civil service, or was likely to do so for the 

A state railroad system may be relied upon to do one thing to 
check local discrimination. But this is not due so much to any con- 
siderations of public policy as to the complete monopoly which takes 
away all inducements to discriminate. Where a state road comes into 
conflict with private roads, it makes discriminations of the worst form. 
Where it has a monopoly, there is danger that it will avoid them by 
leveling up. The Italian investigating commission of 1878, after a 
careful comparison of the actual experience of different countries, 
came to the conclusion that state railroads did not, as a rule, do so 
much for industry as private railroads ; that in general their rates 
were higher, their facilities worse, their responsibility less ; that the 
state railroad management was more apt to tax business than to foster 
it ; while political considerations were brought into matters of rail- 
road construction and management in a way which was disastrous 
alike to railroads and to politics. It may be that these conclusions 
were in some respects overdrawn ; but they are sufficient to show the 
wide difference between the popular ideal of state railroad manage- 
ment and the reality as seen in actual practice. 





THE Spanish rule over Mexico lasted for just three hundred years, 
or from 1521 to 1821 ; and, during the whole of this long period, 
the open and avowed policy of Spain was, to regard the country as an 
instrumentality for the promotion of her own interests and aggrandize- 
ment exclusively, and to utterly and contemptuously disregard the de- 


sires and interests of the Mexican people. The government or vice- 
royalty established by Spain, in Mexico, for the practical application 
of this policy, accordingly seems to have always regarded the attain- 
ment of three things or results as the object for which it was mainly 
constituted, and to have allowed nothing of sentiment or of humanita- 
rian consideration to stand for one moment in the way of their rigorous 
prosecution and realization. These were, first, to collect and pay into 
the royal treasury the largest possible amount of annual revenue ; sec- 
ond, to extend and magnify the authority and work of the established 
Church ; third, to protect home (i. e., Spanish) industries. 

Starting with the assumption that the country, with all its people and 
resources, was the absolute property of the crown in virtue of conquest, 
the accomplishment of t\iQ first result was sought through the practical 
enslavement of the whole native population, and the appropriation of 
the largest amount of all production that was compatible with the con- 
tinued existence of productive industries. With the civil power at 
the command of the Church, the attainment of the second result was 
from the outset most successful ; for, with a profession of belief and 
the acceptance of baptism, on the one hand, and the vigilance of the 
Inquisition and a menace of the fires of the auto-da-fe on the other, 
the number of those who wanted to exemplify in themselves the su- 
premacy of conscience or the freedom of the will, was very soon reduced 
to a minimum. And, finally, the correctness or expediency of the 
principle of protection to home (Spanish) industry having been once 
accepted, it was practically carried out, with such a logical exact- 
ness and absence of all subterfuge, as to be worthy of admiration, 
and without parallel in all economic history. For, in the first instance, 
with a view of laying the axe directly at the root of the tree of com- 
mercial freedom, all foreign trade or commercial intercourse with 
any country other than Spain was prohibited under pain of death ; 
and that ordinance is believed to have been kept in force until within 
the present century. No schools or educational institutions save 
those of an ecclesiastical nature were allowed, and in these instruc- 
tion in almost every branch of useful learning was prohibited. Cer- 
tain portions of Mexico were admirably adapted, as they yet are, 
to the cultivation of the vine, the olive, the mulberry, and of fiber- 
yielding plants, and also for the keeping and breeding of sheep ; 
but, as a colonial supply of wine, oil, silk, hemp, and wool might 
interfere with the interests of home producers, the production of any 
or all of these articles was strictly prohibited ; neither was any manu- 
facture whatever allowed which could by any possibility interfere 
with any similar industry of Old Spain. When Hidalgo, a patriotic 
Catholic priest, about the year 1810, with a desire to diversify the in- 
dustries of his country and benefit his countrymen, introduced the 
silk-worm and promoted the planting of vineyards, the authorities de- 
stroyed the one and uprooted the other ; and through these acts first 


instigated the rebellion that ultimately overthrew the government 
and expelled the Spaniards from Mexico. All official posts in the coun- 
try, furthermore, were filled by Spaniards, and the colonial offices 
were regularly sold in Madrid to the highest bidder. 

In the National Museum in the city of Mexico is a nearly or quite 
complete collection of the portraits of the fifty-six Spanish viceroys 
who successively governed the country. The series commences with 
a portrait of Cortes, which is said to be an original ; and, according to 
Mr. Prescott (who prefixed an engraved copy of it to the third volume 
of his "Conquest of Mexico"), has been indorsed by one of the best 
Spanish authorities, Don Antonio Uguina, as the " best portrait " of the 
conqueror that was ever executed. It is an exceedingly striking face, 
full of character, and more quiet, contemplative, and intellectual than 
might have been expected from his stirring and eventful career ; and as 
the picture is neglected and apparently in a state of decay, a copy of 
it ought at once to be acquired by our national Government and placed 
in the Capitol at Washington ; or, in neglect thereof, by some one of 
our historical societies. For, whatever may be the opinion entertained 
concerning the man and his acts, there can be no question that he was 
one of the most conspicuous characters in American history, and has 
left his mark indelibly upon what is now no small part of the terri- 
tory of the United States. Of the long series of portraits of his suc- 
cessors, as they hang upon the walls of the museum, the majority 
depicted in gorgeous vice-regal robes, and with stars and orders of 
nobility, there is this to be said that, with few exceptions, they rep- 
resent the most mediocre, unintellectual, and uninteresting group of 
faces that could well be imagined. They convey the idea that nearly 
all of the originals were men past the prime of life, whose business 
had been that of courtiers, and who had won their appointments either 
by court favoritism or from the supposed possession of qualities which 
would enable them to extort from the country and its people a larger 
revenue for the Spanish treasury than their predecessors. Among the 
few exceptions noted are the portraits of Don Juan de Acuiia (1722- 
1734), the only Spanish viceroy born in America (Peru), and the 
Count de Revilla-Gigedo (1789-;1794), both of whom were unques- 
tionably rulers of great ability, and who might also well be repre- 
sented in the national galleries of the United States ; and the por- 
traits of occasional ecclesiastical viceroys bishops or archbishops 
conspicuous among their neighbors by reason of their more somber 
vestments. The faces of these latter are not devoid of intellectuality, 
or indications of mental ability ; but they are one and all stern, 
unimpassioned, and with an expression of grim malevolence and big- 
otry, which as much as says, " Woe betide any heretic, or contemner 
of Church supremacy, who dares to question my authority ! " To which 
may be properly added that, during nearly all the long period of Span- 
ish rule in Mexico, the Inquisition, or " Holy Office," wielded a power 


as baleful and as despotic as it ever did in Old Spain, and held its last 
auto-da-fe and burned its last conspicuous victim General Jose Mo- 
relos in the Plaza of the city of Mexico, as late as November, 1815 ! 

In 1810, Mexico, under the lead of Hidalgo whom the modern 
Mexicans regard as a second Washington revolted against its Span- 
ish rulers, and, after many and varying vicissitudes, finally attained its 
complete independence, and proclaimed itself, in 1822, first an empire, 
and two years later, or in 1824, a republic. From this time until the 
defeat of Maximilian and his party in 1867, the history of Mexico 
is little other than a chronicle of successive revolutions, internecine 
strife, and foreign wars. In the National Palace, in the city of Mexico, 
is a very long, narrow room, termed the " Hall of Embassadors," from 
the circumstance that the President of the Republic here formally re- 
ceives the representatives of foreign nationalities. Upon the walls of 
this room, and constituting, apart from several elaborate glass chan- 
deliers, almost its only decoration, is a series of fairly painted, full- 
length portraits of individual Mexicans who, since the achievement 
of independence of Spain, had been so conspicuously connected with 
the state, or had rendered it such service, as to entitle them, in the 
opinion of posterity, to commemoration in this sort of national " Val- 
halla." To the visitor, entering upon an inspection of these interest- 
ing pictures, the accompanying guide, politely desirous of imparting 
all desirable information concerning them, talks somewhat after this 
manner : 

" This is a portrait of the Emperor Iturbide, commander-in-chief of 
the army that defeated and expelled the last Spanish viceroy ; elected 
emperor in 1822 ; resigned the crown in 1823 ; was proscribed, arrested, 
and shot in 1824. The next is a portrait of one of the most distin- 
guished of the soldiers of Mexico, General Mariano Arista" (the gen- 
eral who commanded the Mexican troops at the battles of Palo Alto 
and Resaca de la Palma), " elected President of the Republic in 1851, 
was deposed and banished in 1853, and died in exile in 1855. His 
remains were brought home at the public expense, and a special de- 
cree commemorative of his services was declared by Congress. The 
next is General So-and-so, who also, after rendering most distinguished 
services, was shot" ; and so on, until it seems as if there was not one 
of their conspicuous men whom the Mexicans of to-day unite in 
honoring for his patriotism and good service, but who experienced 
a full measure of the ingratitude of his country in the form of exile 
or public execution. In the same gallery is also a good full-length 
portrait of Washington, but, very appropriately, it is far removed 
from all the other pictures, and occupies a place by itself at the ex- 
treme end of the apartment.* 

* Since the establishment of her independence in 1821, Mexico, down to the year 1884 
a period of sixty-three years has had fifty-five presidents, two emperors, and one re- 
gency, and, with some three or four exceptions, there was a violent change of the gov- 


In 1846 came the American war and invasion, when the United 
States, with " one fell swoop," as it were, took from Mexico consider- 
ably more than one half of all its territory 923,835 square miles out 
of a former total of 1,690,317. It is true that payment was tendered 
and accepted for about one thirty-fourth part (the Gadsden purchase) 
of what was taken, but appropriation and acceptance of payment were 
alike compulsory. For this war the judgment of all impartial history 
will undoubtedly be that there was no justification or good reason on 
the part of the United States. It may be that what happened was an 
inevitable outcome of the law of the survival of the fittest, as exempli- 
fied among nations ; and that the contrasts as seen to-day between the 
life, energy, and fierce development of much of that part of Old Mexi- 
co that became American California, Texas, and Colorado and the 
stagnant, poverty-stricken condition of the contiguous territory 
Chihuahua, Sonora, Coahuila that remained Mexican, are a proof of 
the truth of the proverb that " the tools rightfully belong to those 
who can use them." But, nevertheless, when one stands beside the 
monument erected at the foot of Chapultepec, to the memory of the 
young cadets of the Mexican Military School mere boys who, in 
opposing the assault of the American columns, were faithful unto death 
to their flag and their country, and notes the sternly simple inscription, 
" Who fell in the North American invasion " ; and when we also recall 
the comparative advantages of the contending forces the Americans 
audacious, inspirited with continuous successes, equipped with an 
abundance of the most improved material of war, commanded by most 
skilled officers, and backed with an overflowing treasury ; the Mexi- 
cans poorly clothed, poorly fed, poorly armed, unpaid, and generally 
led by uneducated and often incompetent commanders ; and remem- 
ber the real valor with which, under such circumstances, the latter, 
who had received so little from their country, resisted the invasion 
and conquest of that country ; and that in no battles of modern times 
have the losses been as great comparatively as were sustained by the 
Mexican forces there is certainly not much of pleasure or satisfaction 
that a sober-minded, justice-loving citizen of the United States can or 
ought to find in this part of his country's history. And, if we are the 
great, magnanimous, and Christian nation that we claim to be, no time 
ought to be lost in proving to history and the world our right to the 
claim, by providing, by act of Congress, that all those cannon which 

eminent with every new administration. The year 1848 is noted in Mexican annals as 
the first time when the presidency was transferred without violence and under the law 
General Arista peaceably succeeding General Herrera. But Arista was deposed and ban- 
ished in the next two years, and in the next three months there were four presidents of the 
republic. Of the original and great leaders in the war of independence namely, Hi- 
dalgo, Morelos, and Matamoros all were shot. The same fate befell both of the emper- 
ors, and also two of the more noted presidents Guerrero and Miramon. Of the other 
presidents, nearly all at one time or other were formally banished or compelled to flee 
from the state in order to escape death or imprisonment. 


lie scattered over the plains at West Point, bearing the inscriptions 
" Vera Cruz," " Contreras," " Chapultepec," " Molino del Rey," and 
"City of Mexico," and some of which have older insignia, showing 
that they were originally captured by Mexican patriots from Spain in 
their struggles for liberty; together with every captured banner or other 
trophy preserved in our national museums and collections, be gathered 
up and respectfully returned to the Mexican people. For, to longer 
retain them and pride ourselves on their possession, is as unworthy 
and contemptible as it would be for a strong man to go into the 
street and whip the first small but plucky and pugnacious boy he en- 
counters, and then, hanging up the valued treasures he has deprived 
him of in the hall of his residence, say complaisantly, as he views 
them, "See what a great and valiant man I am, and how I desire 
that my children should imitate my example ! " If it is peace and 
amity and political influence, and extended trade and markets, and a 
maintenance of the Monroe doctrine on the American Continent that 
we are after, such an act would do more to win the hearts and dispel 
the fears and suspicions of the people of Mexico, and of all the states 
of Central and South America, than reams of diplomatic correspond- 
ence, and endless traveling trade commissioners and formal interna- 
tional resolutions. Society is said to be bound by laws that always 
bring vengeance upon it for wrong-doing "the vengeance of the 
gods, whose mills grind slow, but grind exceeding small." What 
penalty is to be exacted of the great North American Republic for its 
harsh treatment and spoliation of poor, down-trodden, ignorant, super- 
stitious, debt-ridden Mexico, time alone can reveal. Perhaps, as this 
great wrong was committed at the promptings or demand of the then 
dominant slave-power, the penalty has been already exacted and in- 
cluded in the general and bloody atonement which the country has 
made on account of slavery. Perhaps, under the impelling force of 
the so-called "manifest destiny," a. further penalty is to come, in the 
form of an equal and integral incorporation of Mexico and her for- 
eign people into the Federal Union. But, if this is to be so, the intel- 
ligent and patriotic citizens of both countries may and should ear- 
nestly pray that God, in his great mercy, may yet spare them. 

In 1861, Louis Napoleon, taking advantage of the war of the re- 
bellion in the United States, and regarding (in common with most of 
the statesmen of Europe) the disruption of the Great Republic as pro- 
spectively certain, made the suspension by Mexico of payment upon 
all her public obligations, a great part of which were held in Europe, 
a pretext for the formation of a tripartite alliance of France, England, 
and Spain, for interfering in the government of the country ; and in 
December, 1861, under the auspices of such alliance, an Anglo-French- 
Spanish military force landed and took possession of Vera Cruz. 
From this alliance the English and Spanish forces early withdrew ; 
but the French remained, and soon made no secret of their intent 


to conquer the country. The national forces, under the leadership of 
undoubtedly the greatest and noblest character that Mexico has pro- 
duced, Benito Juarez, reported to be of pure Indian parentage, offered 
a not inglorious resistance ; and in at least one instance undoubtedly 
inflicted a severe defeat upon the French army. But with the almost 
universal defection of the clergy and the wealthier classes, and with 
the country weakened by more than forty years of civil strife and an 
impoverished exchequer, they were finally obliged to succumb ; and 
after a period of military operations extending over about sixteen 
months, or in June, 1863, the French entered the city of Mexico in 
triumph and nominally took possession of the whole country. A 
month later, a so-called " assemblage of notables," appointed by the 
French general-in-chief, met at the capital, and with great unanimity 
declared the will of the Mexican people to be the establishment of 
an empire in the person of the Archduke Maximilian of Austria, " or 
such other prince as the Emperor Napoleon should designate " ; and 
in pursuance of this act the crown was formally offered to Maximilian 
at his palace in Austria in October, 1863, and definitely accepted by 
him in April, 1864. Viewed in the light of subsequent events, the 
point of greatest interest and importance in this scheme on the part of 
Louis Napoleon for the conquest of Mexico and its conversion into a 
French dependency, to the humiliation of whatever political organiza- 
tions might be left after the war to represent the former Federal 
Union, and to the utter discomfiture of the "Monroe doctrine" a 
scheme which Napoleon designed should constitute the most brilliant 
feature of his reign was the connection of the Church of Mexico and 
its adherents with the movement. If not, indeed, as is often sus- 
pected, the instigators of it in the first instance, they were undoubt- 
edly in full sympathy with it from its inception and with good 
reason. For as far back as 1857, Juarez, when a member of the Cabinet 
of General Comonfort, had been instrumental in the adoption of a po- 
litical Constitution which was based on the broadest republican prin- 
ciples, and which provided for free schools, a free press, a complete 
subjugation of the ecclesiastical to the civil authority, and universal 
religious toleration a Constitution which, with some later amend- 
ments, is still the organic law of Mexico. Such a reform could not, 
and at the time did not, triumph over the privileged classes, the 
Church, the aristocracy, and the military leaders, and, although em- 
bodied in the form of law, remained in abeyance. 

But the Church and the aristocracy at the same time did not fail 
to recognize that, if Juarez and his party ever attained political 
ascendency, their property and privileges would be alike imperiled. 

The subversion of the so-called Republic of Mexico, with its un- 
stable government and frequent revolutions, and its replacement with 
an empire, backed by the then apparently invincible arms of France, 
and with one of the Catholic princes of Europe on the throne, were, 



therefore, most acceptable to the Mexican Church and its adherents ; 
and in Maximilian of Austria they thought they had found a man 
after their own heart. 

He was a man of elegant presence, winning manners, and of much 
refinement and culture ; and these qualities, with undoubted personal 
courage, contributed to give him a certain amount of personal popu- 
larity and sympathy. But he was, nevertheless, in all matters of gov- 
ernment, always a representative of the highest type of absolutism 
or imperialism, and in devotion to the Catholic Church an extremist, 
even almost to the point of fanaticism. The first of these assertions 
finds illustration in his establishment of a court, with orders of nobil- 
ity, decorations, and minute ceremonials ; the construction and use of 
an absurd state carriage modeled after the style of Louis XIV 
and still shown in the National Museum ; and worse, by the proclama- 
tion and execution of an order (which subsequently cost Maximilian 
his own life), that all republican officers taken prisoner in battle by 
the imperialists should be summarily executed as bandits ; and, sec- 
ond, by his walking barefoot, on a day of pilgrimage, all the way 
over some two or three miles of dusty, disagreeable road, from the city 
of Mexico to the shrine of the Virgin at Guadalupe. 

When the attitude and demand of the United States, on the termi- 
nation of the rebellion, induced the withdrawal of the French forces 
from Mexico, Maximilian, at the suggestion of Louis Napoleon, pre- 
pared to abdicate ; and, in October, 1866, even commenced his journey 
to Vera Cruz, with the intent of embarking from the country. Unfor- 
tunately for himself, however, he was persuaded by the Church party, 
under assurances of their ability to support him, to return to the city 
of Mexico and resume his government. But the attempt was hopeless, 
and culminated some six months later in his capture and execution by 
the republican forces, and with the downfall of the " Maximilian" or 
the " imperial " government, Juarez became the undisputed, and also, 
to all intents and purposes, the absolute, ruler of the country. 

This portion of the more recent history of Mexico has been de- 
tailed somewhat minutely, because the series of events embraced in 
it led up to and culminated in an act of greater importance, than 
anything which has happened in the country since the achievement 
of its independence from Spanish domination. For no sooner had 
Juarez obtained an indorsement of his authority as President, by a 
general election, than he practically carried out with the co-operation 
of Congress, and with an apparent spirit of vindictiveness (engen- 
dered, it has been surmised, by the memory of the oppressions to 
which his race had been subjected), the provisions of the Constitu- 
tion which he had been instrumental in having adopted in 1857. The 
entire property of the Mexican Church was at once "nationalized" (a 
synonym for confiscation) for the use of the state. Every convent, 
monastic institution, or religious house was closed up and devoted to 


secular purposes ; and the members of every religious society, from the 
Jesuits to the Sisters of Charity, who served in the hospitals or taught 
in the schools, were banished and summarily sent out of the country. 
And so vigorously and severely is the policy of subjugating the eccle- 
siastical to the civil authority, which Juarez inaugurated in 1857, still 
carried out, that no convent or monastery now openly exists in Mex- 
ico ; and no priest or sister, or any ecclesiastic, can walk the streets 
in any distinctive costume, or take part in any religious parade or pro- 
cession ; and this in towns and cities where, twenty years ago or less, 
the life of a foreigner or skeptic who did not promptly kneel in the 
streets at the " procession of the host," was imperiled. Again, while 
Catholic worship is still permitted in the cathedrals and in a sufficient 
number of other churches, it is clearly understood that all of these 
structures, and the land upon which they stand, are absolutely the 
property of the Government, liable to be sold and converted to other 
uses at any time, and that the officiating clergy are only " tenants at 
will." Even the ringing of the church-bells is regulated by law. 
All those rites, furthermore, which the Catholic Church has always 
"classed as among her holy sacraments and exclusive privileges, and 
the possession of which has constituted the chief source of her power 
over society, are also now regulated by civil law. The civil author- 
ity registers births, performs the marriage ceremony, and provides for 
the burial of the dead ; and while the Church marriage ceremonies 
are not prohibited to those who desire them, they are legally super- 
fluous, and alone have no validity whatever." (See " Report on Church 
and State in Mexico to the State Department," by Consul-General 
Strother, December, 1883.) 

Such an achievement as has been here briefly chronicled, was in 
every respect analogous to, and was as momentous to Mexico as the 
abolition of slavery was to the United States. Like slavery in the 
latter country, the Catholic Church had become, as it were, incorpo- 
rated into the fundamental institutions of Mexico since its first inva- 
sion and conquest by the Spaniards. It had the sole management of 
all the educational institutions and influences of the country ; it held, 
in the opinion of a great majority of the people, the absolute control 
of the keys of heaven and hell ; it had immense wealth, mainly in the 
form of money ready to loan, buildings in the cities, and haciendas or 
estates in the country, and all the influences which wealth brings. 
And, even when Mexico achieved her independence, the influence of 
the Church was so little impaired by the accompanying political and 
social convulsions, that the national motto or inscription which the 
new state placed upon its seal, its arms, and its banners, was " Re- 
ligion, Union, and Liberty." 

Except, therefore, for the occurrence of a great civil war, which 
convulsed the whole nation ; and in which the Church, after favoring 
a foreign invasion, and placing itself in opposition to all the patriotic, 


liberty-loving sentiment of the country, bad been signally beaten, its 
overthrow, as was the case with slavery in the United States, would 
not seem to have been possible. And even under the circumstances, 
it ig not a little surprising and difficult of explanation, that a govern- 
ment could have arisen in Mexico strong enough and bold enough to 
at once radically overthrow and humiliate a great religious system, 
which had become so powerful, and had so largely entered into the 
hearts and become so much a part of the customs and life of its peo- 
ple ; and that every subsequent national administration and party 
has now for a period of nearly twenty years unflinchingly maintained 
and executed this same policy. 

Mr. David H. Strother (" Porte Crayon "), our late consul-general at 
Mexico, who has studied the matter very carefully, suggests that an ex- 
planation may be found in the character of the Indian races of Mexico, 
who constitute the bulk of the population, and " whose native spirit of 
independence predominates over all other sentiments." He also throws 
out the opinion that "the aborigines of the country never were com- 
pletely Christianized ; but, awed by force, or dazzled by showy ceremo- 
nials, accepted the external forms of the new faith as a sort of compro- 
mise with the conquerors." And he states that he has himself recently 
attended " religious festivals where the Indians assisted, clothed and 
armed as in the days of Montezuma, with a curious intermingling of 
Christian and pagan emblems, and ceremonies closely resembling some 
of the sacred dances of the North American tribes." It is also asserted 
that, on the anniversaries of the ancient Aztec festivals, garlands are 
hung upon the great stone idol that stands in the court-yard of the 
National Museum, and that the natives of the mountain villages some- 
times steal away on such days to the lonely forests or hidden caves, to 
worship in secret the gods of their ancestors. But, be the explanation 
what it may, it is greatly to the credit of Mexico, and one of the 
brightest auguries for her future, that after years of war, and social 
and political revolutions, in which the adherents both of liberty and 
absolutism have seemed to vie with each other in outraging humanity, 
the idea of a constitutional government, based on the broadest repub- 
lican principles, has lived, and, to as large an extent as has perhaps 
been possible under the circumstances, practically asserted itself in a 
national administrative system. 

When the traveler visits the cities of Mexico, and sees the num- 
ber and extent of the convents, religious houses, and churches, which, 
having been confiscated, are either in the process of decay or occu- 
pied for secular purposes ; and, in the country, has pointed out to 
him the estates which were formerly the property of the Church, he 
gets some realization of the nature of the work which Juarez had the 
ability and courage to accomplish. And when he further reflects on 
the numbers of idle, shiftless, and certainly to some extent profligate 
people, who tenanted or were supported by these great properties, and 


who, producing nothing and consuming everything, virtually lived on 
the superstitions and fears of their countrymen which they at the 
same time did their best to create and perpetuate he no longer won- 
ders that Mexico and her people are poor and degraded, but rather 
that they are not poorer and more degraded than they are. 

What amount of property was owned by the Mexican Church and 
clergy previous to its secularization is not certainly known (at least by 
the public). It is agreed that they at one time held the titles to all 
the best property of the republic, both in city and country ; and there 
is said to have been an admission by the clerical authorities to the 
ownership of eight hundred and sixty-one estates in the country, val- 
ued at $71,000,000 ; and of twenty-two thousand lots of city property, 
valued at 8113,000,000 ; making a total of $184,000,000. Other esti- 
mates, more general in their character, are to the effect that the former 
aggregate wealth of the Mexican Church can not have been less than 
$300,000,000 ; and, according to Mr. Strother, it is not improbable 
that even this large estimate falls short of the truth ; " inasmuch as it 
is admitted that the Mexican ecclesiastical body well understood the 
value of money as an element of power, and, as bankers and money- 
lenders for the nation, possessed vast assets which could not be pub- 
licly known or estimated." Notwithstanding also the great losses 
which the Church had undoubtedly experienced prior to the accession 
of Juarez in 1857, and his control of the state, the annual revenue of 
the Mexican clergy at that time, from tithes, gifts, charities, and pa- 
rochial dues, is believed to have been not less than $22,000,000, or 
more than the entire aggregate revenues of the state derived from 
all its customs and internal taxes. Some of the property that thus 
came into the possession of the Government was quickly sold by it, 
and at very low prices ; and, very curiously, was bought, in some nota- 
ble instances, by other religious (Protestant) denominations, which, 
previous to 1857, had not been allowed to obtain even so much as tol- 
erance or a foothold in the country. Thus, the former spacious head- 
quarters of the order of the Franciscans, with one of the most elegant 
and beautifully proportioned chapels in the world, within its walls, and 
fronting in part on the Calle de San Francisco, the most fashionable street 
in the city of Mexico, was sold to Bishop Riley and a well-known philan- 
thropist of New York, acting for the American Episcopal missions, 
at an understood price of thirty-five thousand dollars, and is now 
valued at over two hundred thousand dollars. In like manner the 
American Baptist missionaries have gained an ownership or control, in 
the city of Puebla, of the old Palace of the Inquisition ; and in the 
city of Mexico, the former enormous Palace of the Inquisition, is now 
a medical college ; while the Plaza de San Domingo, which adjoins 
and fronts the Church of San Domingo, and where the auto-da-fe was 
once held, is now used as a market-place. A former magnificent old 
convent, to some extent reconstructed and repaired, also affords quar- 


ters to the National Library, which in turn is largely made up of spoils 
gathered from the libraries of the religious " orders " and houses. The 
national Government, however, does not appear to have derived any 
great fiscal advantage from the confiscation of the Church property, 
or to have availed itself of the resources which thus came to it for 
effecting any marked reduction of the national debt. Good Catholics 
would not buy " God's property " and take titles from the state ; and 
so large tracts of land, and blocks of city buildings, passed, at a very 
low figure, into the possession of those who were indifferent to the 
Church, and had command of ready money ; and in this way individ- 
uals, rather than the state and the great body of the people, have been 

Having thus briefly glanced at the physical condition and political 
and social experiences of Mexico, we are now prepared to discuss the 
economic condition of the country, its prospect for industrial develop- 
ment, and its possible commercial importance and future trade rela- 
tions with the United States. 

Population. The element of first importance, and therefore the 
one entitled to first consideration in endeavoring to forecast the future 
of Mexico, is undoubtedly its population; the object alike for improve- 
ment, and the primary instrumentality by which any great improve- 
ment in the condition of the country can be effected. Whatever may 
be its aggregate ten or twelve millions it is generally agreed that 
about one third of the whole number are pure Indians, the descend- 
ants of the proprietors of the soil at the time of its conquest by the 
Spaniards ; a people yet living in a great degree by themselves, though 
freely mingling in the streets and public places with the other races, 
and speaking, it is said, about one hundred and twenty different lan- 
guages or dialects. Next, one half of the whole population are of 
mixed blood the mestizos of whose origin nothing, in general, can 
be positively affirmed, further than that their maternal ancestors were 
Indian women, and their fathers descendants of the Caucasian stock. 
They constitute the dominant race of the Mexico of to-day the ranche- 
ros, farmers, muleteers, servants, and soldiers the only native founda- 
tion on which it would seem that any improved structure of humanity 
can be reared. Where the infusion of white blood has been large, the 
mestizos are often represented by men of fine ability, who take natu- 
rally to the profession of arms and the law, and distinguish themselves. 
But, on the other hand, no small proportion of this race the so-called 
"leperos" are acknowledged by the Mexicans themselves to be 
among the lowest and vilest specimens of humanity in existence ; a 
class exhibiting every vice, with hardly the possession of a single vir- 
tue. The remaining sixth of the population of Mexico are Europeans 
by birth or their immediate descendants, the Spanish element predomi- 
nating. The national language also is Spanish a language not well 


fitted for the uses and progress of a commercial nation ; and which 
will inevitably constitute a very serious obstacle in the way of indoctri- 
nating the Mexican people with the ideas and methods of overcoming 
obstacles and doing things which characterize their great Anglo-Saxon 
neighbors. It should also be borne in mind that a language is one of 
the most difficult things to supplant in the life of a nation through a 
foreign influence. The Norman conquest of England, although it 
modified the Saxon language, could not substitute French ; neither 
could the Moors make Arabic the language of Spain, although they 
held possession of a great part of the country for a period of more 
than seven centuries. It seems certain, therefore, that Spanish will 
continue to be the dominant language of Mexico until the present 
population is outnumbered by the Americans a result which may 
occur before a very long time in the northern States of Mexico, where 
the population at present is very thin, but which is certainly a very 
far-off contingency in the case of Central Mexico. 

Of the present population of Mexico, probably three quarters, and 
possibly a larger proportion for in respect to this matter there is no 
certain information can not read or write, possess little or no prop- 
erty, and have no intelligent ideas about civil as contradistinguished 
from military authority, of political liberty, or of constitutional gov- 

It is difficult, in fact, to express in words, to those who have not 
had an opportunity of judging for themselves, the degraded condition 
of the mass of the laboring classes of Mexico. The veil of the pictur- 
esque, which often suffices to soften the hard lines of human existence, 
can not here hide the ugliness and even hideousness of the picture 
which humanity exhibits in its material coarseness and intellectual or 
spiritual poverty. The late consul-general Strother, who, as a citizen of 
one of our former slaveholding States, is well qualified to judge, ex- 
presses the opinion, in a late official report (1885), that the scale of liv- 
ing of the laboring classes of Mexico " is decidedly inferior in comfort 
and neatness to that of the negroes of the Southern (United) States 
when in a state of slavery. Their dwellings in the cities are generally 
wanting in all the requirements of health and comfort mostly rooms on 
the ground-floor, without proper light or ventilation ; often with but a 
single opening (that for entrance), dirt floors, and no drainage. In the 
suburbs and in the country, the dwellings in the cold regions are adobe; 
and in the temperate or warm regions mere huts of cane, or of stakes 
wattled with twigs, and roofed with corn-stalks, plantain-leaves, or 
brush." In such houses of the common people there is rarely anything 
answering to the civilized idea of a bed, the occupants sleeping on a mat, 
skin, or blanket on the dirt floor. There are no chairs, tables, fireplace, 
or chimney ; few or no changes of raiment ; no washing apparatus or 
soap, and in fact no furniture whatever, except a flat stone with a stone 
roller to grind their corn, and a variety of earthen vessels to hold their 


food and drink, and for cooking (which last is generally performed over 
a small fire, within a circle of stones outside, and in front, of the main 
entrance to the dwelling). The principal food of all these people is In- 
dian corn, in the form of the so-called tortilla, which is prepared by 
placing a quantity of corn in a jar of hot water and lime (when it can be 
got) to soak overnight ; the use of the lime being to soften the corn. 
When it is desired to use it, the grain is taken out and ground by hand 
on the stone and the roller before mentioned, into a kind of paste, and 
then slightly dried or baked on an earthen tray or pan over a small 
fire. Everybody in Mexico is said to eat tortillas, and their prepara- 
tion, which is always assigned to the women, seems to employ their 
whole time, " to the exclusion of any care of the dwelling, their chil- 
dren, or themselves." Foreigners, especially Americans, find them 
detestable. Another standard article of Mexican diet is boiled beans 
(frijoles). Meat is rarely used by the laborers, but, when it is ob- 
tainable, every part of the animal is eaten. Peppers, both green and 
red, mixed with the corn-meal or beans, are regarded as almost indis- 
pensable for every meal, and, when condensed by cooking, are de- 
scribed by one, who obviously speaks from experience, as forming " a 
red-hot mixture whose savage intensity is almost inconceivable to an 
American. ... A child of six or seven years old will eat more of this 
at a meal than most adult Americans could in a week eating it, too, 
without meat or grease of any kind ; merely folding up the tortilla of 
wheat or corn-meal, dipping up a spoonful of the terrible compound 
with it, and hastily biting off the end, for fear some of the precious 
stuff should escape. Should one be fortunate enough to have anything 
else to eat, these tortillas serve as plates, after which service the plates 

With all this, the agricultural laborers of Mexico, both Indians 
and mixed bloods, are almost universally spoken of as an industrious, 
easily managed, and contented people. By reason of the general 
mildness of the climate, the necessary requirements for living are 
fewer than among people inhabiting the temperate and more north- 
ern latitudes, and consequently poverty with them does not imply ex- 
treme suffering from either cold or starvation. W r hen their simple 
wants are satisfied, money with them has little value, and quickly finds 
its way into the pockets of the almost omnipresent pulque or "lot- 
tery-ticket " sellers, or the priest. " If they are too ready to take a 
hand against the Government at the call of some discontented leader, 
it is not because they are Indian or Mexican, but because they are poor 
and ignorant." 

One noticeable peculiarity of the Mexican laborer is the strength 
of his local attachments, and it is in rare instances only that he volun- 
tarily emigrates from the place of his nativity. This circumstance 
found a curious illustration in the experience of the recent railroad 
constructions in Mexico, where the builders found that they could rely 


only upon the labor in the immediate neighborhood of their line of con- 
struction ; and that, generally, neither money nor persuasion would 
induce any great numbers of these people to follow their work any dis- 
tance from their native fields and villages. In those instances where 
temporary emigration was effected, the laborers insisted on carrying 
their families with them. The Government also recognizes to a cer- 
tain extent this peculiarity in their army movements ; and, whenever 
a company or regiment moves, the number of women wives of the 
soldiers accompanying seems almost absurdly numerous. They, how- 
ever, represent, and to some extent supply, the place of the army 

In short, what Mexico is to-day, socially and politically, is the nat- 
ural and legitimate sequence, and exactly what might have been ex- 
pected from the artificial conditions which for more than three cent- 
uries have been forced upon her ; and history has never afforded such 
a striking, instructive, and pitiful illustration of the effect upon a 
country and a people, of long-continued absolutism and tyranny in re- 
spect to both government and religion. It is true that Spain, if called 
to plead at the bar of public opinion, might point to her own situation 
and decadence as in the nature of judgment confessed and punishment 
awarded. But what has the Church, in whose hands for so many years 
was exclusively vested the matter of education, and which lacked noth- 
ing in the way of power and opportunity, to say to the appalling depths 
of ignorance in which she has left the Mexican people ; an ignorance 
not confined to an almost entire lack of acquaintance with the simplest 
elements of scholastic learning reading, writing, and the rules of 
common arithmetic but even of the commonest tools and mechanical 
appliances of production and civilization ? But, wherever may be the 
responsibility for such a condition of things, the conclusion seems irre- 
sistible that, against the moral inertia of such an appalling mass of 
ignorance, the advancing waves of any higher civilization are likely 
to dash for a long time without making any serious impression. 

Educational Efforts and Awakening in Mexico. It is, how- 
ever, gratifying to be able to state that at last the leading men of 
Mexico have come to recognize the importance of popular education ; 
and it is safe to say that more good, practical work has been done in 
this direction within the last ten years than in all of the preceding three 
hundred and fifty. At all of the important centers of population free 
schools, under the auspices of the national Government, and free from 
all Church supervision, are reported as established ; while the Catholic 
Church itself, stimulated, as it were, by its misfortunes, and appar- 
ently unwilling to longer rest under the imputation of having neg- 
lected education, is also giving much attention to the subject ; and is 
said to be acting upon the principle of immediately establishing two 
schools wherever, in a given locality, the Government, or any of the 
Protestant denominations, establish one. In several of the national 


free schools visited by the writer, the scholars, mainly girls, appeared 
bright and intelligent, the teachers (females) competent, and the text- 
books modern. The language of instruction was, of course, Spanish, 
but a greater desire than ever before to learn English is reported, and 
it is now (contrary to former custom) generally taught in preference 
to French. Industrial schools, to which boys are appointed from dif- 
ferent sections of the country, analogous to the system of appointments 
in the United States for West Point and Annapolis, have also been 
established by the Government. One of the most interesting of these, 
and for the promotion of which the Mexican Central Railroad corpora, 
tion have co-operated, exists at Guadalupe, about five miles from the 
city of Zacatecas. Here, in a large and well-preserved convent struct- 
ure, confiscated by the Government and appropriated for school pur- 
poses, some two or three hundred Mexican boys are gathered, and 
practically taught the arts of spinning and weaving, printing, carpen- 
tering, instrumental music, leather-work, and various other handi- 
crafts ; while, in close contiguity, and in striking contrast with the 
poverty of the surrounding country, the ecclesiastical authorities are 
expending a large amount of money the proceeds of a legacy of a 
rich Mexican mine-proprietor in reconstructing and decorating in a 
most elaborate manner the church, which was formerly a part of the 
convent, and which has been left in their possession. 

The Federal Government also maintains national schools at the 
capital, of agriculture, medicine, law, and engineering ; a Conservatory 
of Music, an Academy of Fine Arts, a National Museum and a National 
Library ; together with institutions for the blind, deaf and dumb, the 
insane, for the reformation of young criminals, and such other system- 
atic charities as are common in enlightened communities. Most of 
these institutions are located in old and spacious ecclesiastical edifices 
which have been " nationalized " ; and the means for their support 
seem to be always provided, although the Mexican treasury is rarely 
or never in a flourishing condition. At the same time it is almost cer- 
tain that all these laudable efforts on the part of the Government to 
promote education and culture have thus far worked down and affect- 
ed to a very slight extent the great mass of the people. But it is, nev- 
ertheless, a beginning. 

After all, however, as the stability of any form of government and 
the maintenance of domestic tranquillity with such a population as ex- 
ists in Mexico, is obviously contingent on the maintenance of a strong, 
well - organized, and disciplined army, the first care of the central 
Government is naturally to promote military rather than secular edu- 
cation ; and, accordingly, the National Military School, located at Cha- 
pultepec, and modeled after the best military schools of Europe, is in 
the highest state of efficiency. The system of instruction and the 
text-books used are French ; and the personnel of the school, both 
officers and cadets, will compare favorably with anything that can be 


seen at West Point. The army maintained by Mexico is larger than 
that of the United States, and the rank and file seem to be possessed 
of all the physical qualities essential for the making of good soldiers. 
But it is upon the patriotism and intelligence of the officers in com- 
mand of the army that the immediate future and prosperity of Mexico 
is dependent. The single fact, however, that the present Government 
and the most intelligent and influential people of Mexico have recog- 
nized the necessity of educating the masses of the people, and that 
probably the best that can be done under existing circumstances is 
being done, certainly constitutes the most hopeful and encouraging 
augury for the future of the republic. 

The Government and Social Forces of Mexico. As might be 
expected from the existing conditions, the Government of Mexico 
both Federal and State although nominally constitutional and demo- 
cratic, is not, and from the very nature of things can not be, other than 
personal, and is often in the highest degree arbitrary and despotic ; 
in short, a military despotism under the form of a republic. For ex- 
ample, under date of February 15, 1886, the telegraph reports that the 
people of Coahuila are rejoicing over the fact that, after a term of a 
year and a half of military rule, the civil authorities are to resume 
control of the local government ; but to this is added the following 
significant statement : " The policy of the civil government, however, 
will probably be identical with that pursued by the military, as the 
Governor-elect is a strong supporter of the Administration, and will 
accede to all the demands of the Federal Government." 

No such thing as a popular assemblage, to discuss public questions 
of any kind, ever takes place in Mexico ; and when, in the fall of 1884, 
a young member of the national Congress from Vera Cruz Diaz 
Miron ventured to oppose a scandalous proposition of the then Presi- 
dent, Gonzales, for the readjustment of the claims of the English hold- 
ers of the national bonds, he felt it necessary to preface his speech on 
the floor of the House of Representatives with words to the effect 
that he fully recognized that, in opposing the Administration, he 
probably forfeited all chance for future political preferment, even if 
he did not at once endanger his personal freedom. And such, proba- 
bly, would have been to him the result, had not the students of the 
city of Mexico made the cause of Miron their own, and by organizing 
and assuming the aggressive, forced the Government to abandon their 

Although there are plenty of newsjmpers in Mexico some sixteen 
" dailies " in the city of Mexico alone they have, as might be ex- 
pected, but comparatively few readers, and apparently exist for some 
other purpose than that of reporting the " news." Only one journal 
in the country " El Monitor Republicano " a daily published in the 
city of Mexico, and representing the Liberal Opposition, claims a cir- 
culation as great as thirty-five hundred ; and probably next to this in 


circulation (twenty-five hundred reported) is the Church paper, " El 
Tiempo," which is bitter alike against the Americans and all their im- 
provements, not excepting even their railroads. Of all the other pa- 
pers, it is doubtful whether their average circulation ever reaches as 
large a figure as eight hundred. 

The press of Mexico, furthermore, can hardly be said to be free ; 
inasmuch as, when it says anything which the Government assumes to 
be calculated to excite sedition, the authorities summarily arrest the 
editor and send him to prison ; taking care, however, in all such pro- 
ceedings, to scrupulously observe what has been enacted to be law. 
Thus, during the past year (1885), the editor-in-chief of "El Monitor 
Republicano " has served out a sentence of seven months in the com- 
mon penitentiary, for his criticisms upon the Government. 

Public opinion in Mexico means simply the opinions of the large 
landed proprietors, the professions, the teachers, the students, and the 
army officers ; comprising in all not more than from twenty-five to 
thirty thousand of the whole population. And it is understood that 
less than this number of votes were cast at the last presidential elec- 
tion, although the Constitution of Mexico gives to every adult male 
citizen of the republic the right to vote at elections and to hold office. 
Popular election in Mexico is, therefore, little more than a farce ; and 
the situation affords another striking illustration of a fact which is 
recognized everywhere by the student of politics, that an uneducated 
people will not avail themselves of the right to vote as a matter of 
course, or recognize any sense of duty or responsibility as incumbent 
upon them as citizens. Such a condition of affairs obviously constitutes 
in itself a perpetual menace of domestic tranquillity : for, with no cen- 
sus or registration of voters, no scrutiny of the ballot-box except by the 
party in power ; no public meetings or public political discussions ; and 
no circulation of newspapers among the masses, no peacefully organized 
political opposition has a chance to exist. Such opposition as does 
manifest itself is, therefore, personal and never a matter of principles. 
The central Government for the time being nominates and counts in 
what candidates it pleases ; and, if any one feels dissatisfied or op- 
pressed, there is absolutely no redress to be obtained except through 
rebellion. Such has been the political experience of the Republic of 
Mexico heretofore ; and although the recent construction of railways, 
by facilitating the transportation of troops, has strengthened the central 
Government, there is no reason to suppose that what has happened in 
the past will not continue to happen until the first essential of a free 
government namely, free and intelligent suffrage on the part of the 
masses is established in the country ; and the day for the consumma- 
tion of such a result is very far distant. 

The present President of Mexico, Porfirio Diaz, is undoubtedly 
one of the ablest men who has ever filled the office of its chief execu- 
tive. He is believed to have the interest of his country supremely at 


heart ; is free from the suspicion that has attached, and probably with 
justice, to so many of the Mexican Presidents, of using his power, 
through contracts and expenditures, to enrich himself illegitimately ; 
and has appreciated the necessity and favored all efforts for establish- 
ing and extending popular education. It is not, furthermore, to be 
denied that many of the men associated with the present or recent 
administrations of Mexico are of very high character and fine abili- 
ties ; the recent representative of Mexico in the United States, Senor 
Zamacona, and the present minister, Senor Romero, for example, 
being the peers of the representatives of any of the governments of 
the Old World. 




IT has been long disputed whether the moral faculty is innate and 
instinctive, or whether it is the result of experience and education. 
The probability is that it is partly the one and partly the other. The 
child shows from an early period a disposition to submit to others' au- 
thority, and this moral instinct may not improbably be the transmitted 
result of the social experience and moral training of many generations 
of ancestors. Yet, whatever the strength of the innate disposition, it 
is indisputable that external influences and education have much to do 
in determining the intensity and the special form of the moral senti- 
ment. We have now to trace the successive phases of its development. 

A consciousness of moral obligation arises in the first instance by 
help of the common childish experience of living under parental au- 
thority at the outset. The child's repugnance to doing what is wrong 
is mainly the egoistic feeling of dislike to or fear of punishment. By 
the effect of the principle of association or "transference," dislike to 
the consequences of certain actions might lead on to a certain measure 
of dislike to the actions themselves. And such an effort would greatly 
strengthen the innate disposition to submit to authority. 

When the forces of affection and sympathy come into play, this 
crude germ of moral feeling would advance a stage. An affectionate 
child, finding that disobedience and wrong-doing offend and distress 
his mother or father, would shrink from these actions on this ground. 
Not only so, the promptings of sympathy would lead the child to set 
a value on what those whom he loves and esteems hold in reverence. 
In this way love and reverence for the father lead on naturally to love 
and reverence for the moral law which he represents, enforces, and in 
a measure embodies. 

Even now, however, the love of right has not become a feeling for 

* From " Elements of Psychology, with Special Applications to the Art of Teaching." 
In press of D. Appleton & Co. 


the inherent quality of moral rightness ; it is still a blind respect for 
what is enjoined by certain persons who are respected and beloved. In 
order that the blind, sympathetic regard may pass into an intelligent 
appreciation, another kind of experience is necessary. 

Thrown with others from the first, a child soon finds that he is af- 
fected in various ways by their actions. Thus another child takes a toy 
from him or strikes him, and he suffers, and experiences a feeling of 
anger, and an impulse to retaliate. Or, on the contrary, another child 
is generous and shares his toys, etc., with him, and so his happiness is 
augmented, and he is disposed to be grateful. In such ways the child 
gradually gains experience of the effect of others' good and bad actions 
on his own welfare. By so doing his apprehension of the meaning of 
moral distinctions is rendered clearer. " Right " and " wrong " acquire 
a certain significance in relation to his individual well-being. He is 
now no longer merely in the position of an unintelligent subject to a 
command ; he becomes to some extent an intelligent approver of that 
command, helping to enforce it, by pronouncing the doer of the selfish 
act " naughty," and of the kind action " good." 

Further experience and reflection on this would teach the child the 
reciprocity and interdependence of right conduct ; that the honesty, 
fairness, and kindness of others toward himself are conditional on his 
acting similarly toward them. In this way he would be led to attach 
a new importance to his own performance of certain right actions. He 
feels impelled to do what is right, e. g., speak the truth, not simply 
because he wants to avoid his parents' condemnation, but because he 
begins to recognize that network of reciprocal dependence which binds 
each individual member of a community to his fellows. 

Even now, however, our young moral learner has not attained to a 
genuine and pure repugnance to wrong as such. In order that he may 
feel this, the higher sympathetic feelings must be further developed. 

To illustrate the influence of such a higher sympathy, let us sup- 
pose that A suffers from B's angry outbursts or his greedy propensi- 
ties. He finds that C and D also suffer in much the same way. If his 
sympathetic impulses are sufficiently keen he will be able, by help of 
his own similar sufferings, to put himself in the place of the injured 
one, and to resent his injury just as though it were done to himself. 
At the beginning he will feel only for those near him, and the objects 
of special affection, as his mother or his sister. Hence the moral im- 
portance of family relations and their warm personal affections, as serv- 
ing first to develop habitual sympathy with others and consideration 
for their interests and claims. As his sympathies expand, however, 
this indignation against wrong-doing will take a wider sweep, and 
embrace a larger and larger circle of his fellows. In this way he 
comes to exercise a higher moral function as a disinterested spectator 
of others' conduct, and an impartial representative and supporter of 
the moral law. 


The highest outcome of this habit of sympathetic indignation 
against wrong is a disinterested repugnance to wrong when done by 
the individual himself. A child injures another in some way, either 
in momentary anger or through thoughtlessness. As soon as he is able 
to reflect, his habit of sympathy asserts itself, and causes him to suffer 
with the injured one. He puts himself at the point of view of the 
child he has wronged, and from that point of view looks back on him- 
self, the doer of the wrong, with a new feeling of self-condemnation. 
On the other hand, when he fulfills his duty to another or renders him 
a kindness, he gains a genuine satisfaction by imaginatively realizing 
the feelings of the recipient of the service, and so looking back on his 
action with complacency and approval. 

When this stage of moral progress is reached, the child will iden- 
tify himself with the moral law in a new and closer way. He will no 
longer do right merely because an external authority commands, or 
because he sees it to some extent to be his interest to do so. The de- 
velopment of the unselfish feelings has now connected an internal pain, 
the pang of self-condemnation, and of remorse, with the consciousness 
of acting wrongly ; and this pain, being immediate and certain, acts 
as a constant and never-failing sanction. 

The higher developments of the moral sentiment involve not only 
a deepening and quickening of the feelings, but a considerable enlight- 
enment of the intelligence. In order to detect the subtler distinctions 
between right and wrong, delicate intellectual processes have to be car- 
ried out. Rapidity and certainty of moral insight are the late result 
of wide experience, and a long and systematic exercise of the moral 
faculty on its emotional and intellectual side alike. 

Since the moral feeling stands in a peculiarly close relation to the 
will, the practical problem of exercising and developing it is intimately 
connected with the education of the will and the formation of the 
moral character. This larger problem we have not yet reached, but 
we may even at this stage inquire into the best means of developing 
the moral sentiment regarded apart from its influence as a motive to 
action, and merely as an emotional and intellectual product. 

Inasmuch as the government of the parent and the teacher is the 
external agency that first acts upon the germ of the moral sentiment, 
it is evident that the work of training the moral feelings and judg- 
ment forms a conspicuous feature in the plan of early education. The 
nature of the home discipline more particularly is a prime factor in de- 
termining the first movements of growth of the childish sense of duty. 
In order that any system of discipline may have a beneficial moral in- 
fluence and tend in the direction of moral growth, it must satisfy the 
requirements of a good and efficient system. What these are is a point 
which will be considered later on. Here it must suffice to say that 
rules must be laid down absolutely, and enforced uniformly and con- 
sistently, yet with a careful consideration of circumstances and indi- 


vidual differences. Only in this way will the child come to view the 
commands and prohibitions of his parent or his teacher as representing 
and expressing a permanent and unalterable moral law, which is per- 
fectly impartial in its approvals and disapprovals. 

The effect of any system of discipline in educating and strengthen- 
ing the moral feelings and judgment will depend on the spirit and 
temper in which it is enforced. On the one hand, a measure of calm 
becomes the judicial function, and a parent or teacher carried away by 
violent feeling is unfit for moral control. Hence everything like petty 
personal feeling, as vindictiveness, triumph, and so forth, should be 
rigorously excluded. 

On the other hand, the moral educator must not, in administering 
discipline, appear as a cold, impersonal abstraction. He must represent 
the august and rigorously impartial moral law, but in representing it 
he must prove himself a living personality capable of being deeply 
pained at the sight of wrong-doing. By so doing he may foster the 
love of right by enlisting on his side the child's warmer feelings of 
love and respect for a concrete personality. The child should first be 
led to feel how base it is to lie, and how cowardly to injure a weak 
and helpless creature, by witnessing the distress it causes his beloved 
parent or teacher. In like manner he should be led on to feel the no- 
bility of generosity and self-sacrifice by witnessing the delight which 
it brings his moral teacher. 

It is hardly necessary to add, perhaps, that this infusion of morality 
with a warm sympathetic reflection of the educator's feelings presup- 
poses the action of that moral atmosphere which surrounds a good per- 
sonality. The child only fully realizes the repugnance of a lie to his 
parent or teacher when he comes to regard him as himself a perfect 
embodiment of truth. The moral educator must appear as the con- 
sistent respecter of the moral law in all his actions. 

The training of the moral faculty in a self-reliant mode of feeling 
and judging includes the habitual exercise of the sympathetic feelings, 
together with the powers of judgment. And here much may be done 
by the educator in directing the child's attention to the effects of his 
conduct. The injurious consequences of wrong-doing and the benefi- 
cent results of right-doing ought to be made clear to the child, and his 
feelings enlisted against the one and on the side of the other. Not 
only so, his mind should be exercised in comparing actions so as to dis- 
cover the common grounds and principles of right and wrong, and also 
in distinguishing between like actions under different circumstances, so 
that he may become rational and discriminative in pronouncing moral 

What is called moral instruction should in the first stages of educa- 
tion consist largely of presenting to the child's mind examples of duty 
and virtue, with a view to call forth his moral feelings as well as to 
exercise his moral judgment. His own little sphere of observation 


should be supplemented by the page of history and of fiction. In this 
way a wider variety of moral action is exhibited, and the level of every- 
day experience is transcended. Such a widening of the moral horizon 
is necessary both for enlarging and refining the feeling of duty, and 
for rendering the meaning of moral terms deeper and more exact. And 
it stimulates the mind to frame an ideal conception of what is good and 

The problem of determining the exact relation of intellectual to 
moral culture is one which has perplexed men's minds from the days 
of Socrates. On the one hand, as has been remarked, the enlighten- 
ment of the intelligence is essential to the growth of a clear and finely 
discriminative moral sense. On the other hand, it is possible to exer- 
cise the intellect in dealing with the formal distinctions of morality 
without calling the moral faculty into full vital activity. 

This practical difficulty presses with peculiar force when we come 
on to the later exercises of moral instruction. The full carrying out 
of the process of informing the moral intelligence naturally conducts 
to the more or less systematic exposition of the ideas and truths of 
ethics. An enlightened conscience is one to which the deepest grounds 
of duty have begun to disclose themselves, and which has approximated 
to a complete and harmonious ideal of goodness by a systematic survey 
and co- ordination of the several divisions of human duty and the cor- 
responding directions of moral virtue and excellence. Something in 
the shape of ethical exposition is thus called for when the child reaches 
a certain point in moral progress. But the educator must be careful 
to make this dogmatic instruction supplementary to, and not a substi- 
tute for, the drawing forth of the whole moral faculty on its sensitive 
and on its reflective side alike by the presentation of living concrete 
illustrations of moral truth. Divorced from this, it can only degener- 
ate into a dead formal exercise of the logical faculty and the memory. 

The education of the moral sentiment is, as we have seen, carried 
out in part by the influence of the child's companions. To surround 
him with companions is not only necessary for his comfort, but is a 
condition of developing and strengthening the moral feelings, as the 
sentiment of justice, the feeling of honor, and so on. The larger com- 
munity of the school has an important moral function in familiarizing 
the child's mind with the idea that the moral law is not the imposition 
of an individual will, but of the community. The standard of good 
conduct set up and enforced by this community is all authoritative in 
fixing the early directions of the moral judgment. 

This being so, it is evident that the moral educator must take pains 
to control and guide the public opinion of the school. And in connec- 
tion with this he should seek to counteract the excessive influence of 
numbers, and to stimulate the individual to independent moral re- 






THE first edition of Alphonse de Candolle's " History of the Sci- 
ences and of Scientific Men during two Centuries," * which was 
published in 1873, was speedily exhausted, and the book became, as the 
author says, a rarity in the library catalogues. A search for it two 
years ago revealed the fact that there was but one copy to be found in 
the European markets, and that was held at three times the ordinary 
price. Frequent references to the work as an authority, and many 
inquiries for it, made a second edition necessary, and it has appeared, 
with careful revisions and valuable additions, within the year. The 
primary object of the work was to study the influence of heredity in 
developing men of science ; but it was obvious from the outset that 
this was only one of many factors that concurred in producing the 
result, and by no means always a predominant one. Hence the task 
became at once that of learning what influence was contributed by 
birth, and what by exterior circumstances, such as education, examples, 
institutions, etc. The mixture of the two categories is often inextrica- 
ble, as Mr. Galton has remarked, but in many cases we may succeed in 
determining which one of them is predominant. 

M. de Candolle precedes his principal study with general discussions 
of the subjects of heredity and selection, and of the operation of selec- 
tion in the human species, to which he has added in the later edition of 
his book an account of his processes and the results of his newer inves- 
tigations on heredity. The latter were made upon thirty-one persons 
belonging to sixteen different families in comfortable circumstances, 
and bore reference to 1,032 distinct traits of character, for each of 
which he also inquired into its presence or absence in either or both 
parents. These traits were arranged in four categories : external, 287 ; 
internal, 140 ; instinctive and sentimental, 410 ; and intellectual, 195. 
The general result of the examination was to show in a striking man- 
ner that heredity is the usual, general, and predominant law, in both 
sexes and various degrees for all the categories of characteristics not 
acquired. Other facts of more limited application were brought out. 
Interruption of heredity during one or more generations, or atavism, 
was rarely presented, and seemed to say, when it occurred, not that the 
particular trait was wanting, but that it was feebly accentuated, in the 
intermediate generations. The more prominent or influential the per- 

* " Histoire des Sciences et des Savants depuis Deux Siecles." Preceded and followed 
by other studies on scientific subjects, particularly on " Heredity and Selection." By Al- 
phonse de Candolle. Second edition, with Additions. Geneva, Basle, and Lyon : H. Georg. 
Pp. 594. 1-885. 


sod, for good or bad, the more be appeared to exbibit pronounced and 
numerous characteristics in the category of instinctive feelings and in- 
telligence. Some of these feelings in such cases appeared in the family 
for the first time. Women present fewer distinctive traits than men. 
All the distinctive characteristics, regarded in groups, are more freely 
transmitted by fathers than mothers. This is particularly the case 
with traits of intelligence ; probably because the characteristics in 
question are more strongly developed in the fathers. It is hard to 
learn whether characteristics acquired by education, reading, and ex- 
ample, and from social influences, such as patriotism, religious opinions, 
the point of honor, devotion to a dynasty, etc., are transmitted. Prob- 
ably they rest on w^eak but native and transmissible bases, such as 
sociability for patriotism, timorousness and curiosity for religion, a 
submissive spirit for loyalty, etc. The external influences of educa- 
tion, example, and other factors, develop upon these bases sentiments 
which become very strong, and are perhaps easily transmissible. The 
characteristics most marked in an individual are ordinarily those which 
he derives from both parents, and they exhibit special force if they are 
derived from these and also from other ancestors. A curious element 
of hereditary influence in developing men addicted to high mental ef- 
fort may be found in considering the condition of the clergy of a coun- 
try. It is not indifferent, M. de Candolle observes, " whether some cate- 
gories of the instructed, intelligent, and respectable public, be restricted 
to celibacy or not. Laying aside all dogmatism and views respecting 
the discipline of the clergy, the result, relative to instruction, is not 
the same for a country where there are, for example, forty or fifty 
thousand celibate ecclesiastics, or the same number of clergymen- 
fathers of families. Even if we reduce heredity in intellectual affairs 
to a minimum, the mere existence, in Protestant countries, of married 
pastors, assures the development, from year to year, of a certain num- 
ber of educated persons who will exert a wholesome influence upon 
society." Thus, Agassiz, Berzelius, Boerhaave, Robert Brown, Camper, 
Clausius, Encke, Euler, Fabricius, Grew, Hansteen, Hartsoeker, Oswald 
Heer, Jenner, Linnaeus, Mitscherlich, Olbers, Claus Rudbeck, W. P. 
Schimper, Studer, Schweizer, Arthur Young, Wargentin, Wollaston, 
and Wiirtz, among men of science ; a list that includes Hallam, Hobbes, 
Puffendorf, and De Sismondi, among publicists and historians ; Addi- 
son, Gessner, Ben Jonson, Lessing, Jean Paul Richter, Swift, Thomson, 
Wieland, Young, and Emerson, among poets and men of letters ; and 
Christopher Wren and David Wilkie, among artists, would not have 
existed if their fathers, Protestant pastors, had been Roman Catholic 
priests, or would not have been what they were had their education 
been defective. 

These are examples of an external influence, operating in a coun- 
try at large, to modify heredity of intellectual tendencies, or to work 
along with it. The special object of M. de Candolle's research is 


to determine how far such external influences, peculiar to different 
countries, have had effect, during the past two centuries, on the de- 
velopment of the sciences by producing the men most eminent in 

M. de Candolle takes as the criterion, in the selection of men to be 
subjects of his review, the judgment of the principal learned societies 
of Europe as expressed toward scientific men severally not of their 
own nations. He thus avoids possible errors of his own judgment, 
and those which might originate in the prejudices of any other persons 
by whose judgment he could be guided. The opinions expressed by 
those societies in the manner indicated are impartial, if any opinions 
can be. They may not be wholly just as to individuals, for not all the 
most deserving have received the notice of foreign societies, but, as 
averages, they are probably as fair as possible. The Royal Society of 
London is accustomed to name fifty foreign members from among the 
distinguished in all branches of science. The French Academy of 
Sciences confers the title of Foreign Associate on eight scientific men 
not of France, and has usually, also, on its general list of correspond- 
ents from forty to seventy foreigners. The societies of Germany and 
Italy likewise confer suffrages among those men whom they consider 
to have done the most for science in other countries than their own. 
Taking the lists of the foreign members of these societies as they stand 
at stated periods from 1666, when Huygens was elected a foreign asso- 
ciate of the French Academy of Sciences, down to the present, we 
have a large catalogue of names which the scientific world has united, 
as it were, to pronounce its greatest. 

The first conclusion drawn from the analysis of the lists is that of 
the greater importance that has been attained during the last hundred 
years by the natural as distinguished from the mathematical and 
physical sciences. Another fact to be learned from them is the grow- 
ing tendency to devotion to special branches. The Greek philosophers 
and those of the middle ages were interested in all branches. In the 
days of Leibnitz and Newton, two or three designations were needed 
to describe a philosopher's pursuits, as "astronomer and physicist," 
or "mathematician, astronomer, and physicist," and it might some- 
times be necessary to add " linguist " or " poet." But science has now 
become too large for this. Single branches must absorb the whole 
attention of those who would be proficient in them. And the impossi- 
bility of rising in science while following a lucrative profession or 
pursuing a hobby is becoming daily more evident. In this may lie one 
of the reasons why Roman Catholic ecclesiastics appear to have given 
up scientific pursuits. The lists, till the end of the eighteenth century, 
included many names of Jesuits, monks, and abbes. In the present cent- 
ury we have only the Abbe Hatiy and Father Secchi. The difference 
is also in part due to the changed condition of the clergy. The clerical 
names on the lists of the last centuries were chiefly taken from the 


sedentary clergy, whose ecclesiastical duties were light. The number 
of clergy of this class has been greatly reduced since the French Revo- 
lution ; and the bishops and parish priests of to-day have no time for 
science. The increasing specialization of scientific work is also seen 
in the separation, in natural history, between collectors and describers, 
and between those who make applications of science and those who 
work at original research ; and a separation is growing up between 
teaching and purely scientific work. Dividing society into three 
classes the aristocratic, the middle class, and the workers the for- 
mer appears to be most fruitful in proportion to its numbers in the 
development of scientific excellence ; but the list of Frenchmen in the 
present century appears to show an inclination in favor of the middle 
and working classes. By the force of circumstances a life of research 
is one of abnegation, which can hardly be recommended to those who 
have no worldly goods ; and the conferring of scholarships and fellow- 
ships upon poor students can hardly change the conditions to any great 
extent. It may result in making well-informed men and teachers, but 
many other circumstances and influences than a university education 
must concur to induce a young man to devote himself to investigation, 
to the discovery of truths, and the publication of his results. These 
come next under review. 

The appearance on the Academy lists in several instances of the 
names of father and son or of members of the same family, and in nu- 
merous instances of persons whose fathers had made a good record in 
professional or scholastic life, suggests heredity ; but it is not safe to 
build too much on the suggestion at least not in its application to 
the specific talent. There are other factors than heredity in the fam- 
ily life of professional and scientific men to direct the attention of 
the children toward kindred pursuits to those of the father. Heredity 
has a considerable effect, but it consists chiefly in the transmission of 
tastes and faculties that are useful in such pursuits, rather than of su- 
perior aptitudes for particular branches. Further than this, it does not 
operate directly, except perhaps in the case of the mathematical sci- 
ences. The power of family influences under the direction of scholarly 
fathers to cultivate such tastes in youth is shown in the large propor- 
tion of the names of sons of Protestant pastors on the scientific rolls. 
The occupations of physicians and pharmacists are more directly scien- 
tific than that of the pastor, but the number of sons of members of 
those professions on the lists is much inferior to that of sons of pastors. 
The difference is ascribed to the more quiet and intimate life of the 
pastoral home, and to the direct and constant supervision which is ex- 
ercised by the pastor over the training of his sons. Switzerland fur- 
nishes more instances than any other country of members of the same 
family on the academical lists. This is because Swiss youth, particu- 
larly the sons of pastors, pursue their studies at home, living in their 
own families, while in France and Italy they are taken away from 


home at the age of attending college. This was particularly true in 
Switzerland in the last century and the first half of the present one, 
especially at Geneva and Basle, the towns which have furnished the 
largest proportion of savants connected by family ties. 

Inquiring what personal traits contribute most to the making of a 
scientific man, a comparison is made of the characteristics possessed 
in common by four eminent men Darwin, Linnaeus, Cuvier, and the 
author's father, Augustin-Pyramus de Candolle. They all had heads 
larger than the ordinary size ; strong and persistent will ; curiosity for 
the examination of accessible things and of truths ; great activity, exhib- 
ited in the walking excursions of Linnaeus and De Candolle, the untir- 
ing industry of Darwin, and the constant occupation of Cuvier with his 
work, although he seemed to be phlegmatic ; order, shown in their 
aptitude in classification ; observing faculties, in which none could be 
superior to Darwin and Cuvier ; freedom from any taste for meta- 
physics ; sound judgment ; excellent memory ; great power of atten- 
tion, and remarkable faculty for generalization. As points of differ- 
ence, Darwin, Cuvier, and De Candolle were distinguished by amplitude 
of ideas, while Linnaeus was narrow ; Darwin and De Candolle were 
independent in opinion, Linnaeus and Cuvier less so. None of the 
four had a natural taste for languages, but De Candolle and Darwin 
regretted that they knew so little of other languages than their own. 
Looking for the origin of the qualities they had in common, we find 
that Linnaeus was the son of a country pastor, and grandson, through 
his mother, of another pastor. Cuvier, whose brother Frederic was 
also a zoologist, but less celebrated than he, was the son of a military 
officer, whose life does not throw any particular light on the origin of 
his distinctive characteristics. The De Candolle family were distin- 
guished by an independence of judgment that compelled them to 
change the country of their residence, for opinion's sake, four times in 
three hundred years. These four naturalists were singularly favored 
by external circumstances. They were born in long-civilized coun- 
tries ; they received a Protestant education which did not repress their 
curiosity or the independence of their opinions ; they found, at home 
and around them, good examples, counsels, and encouragement ; and 
they studied in good schools. 

Special or innate tastes are not as important as they appear to be, 
unless they prove persistent. In that case they are cultivated in after- 
life, and are remembered and spoken of. But those who have the 
same tastes in infancy and fail to cultivate them, forget them and 
never speak of them. Multitudes of children chase butterflies and 
make collections of shells or insects without becoming naturalists, or 
construct toy houses and machines without becoming architects or en- 
gineers. Some scientific men have also been poetasters or amateur 
dramatists in their youth. Other special tastes and antipathies have 
some influence, but they result as often from the circumstances of 


sights, conversations, examples, or other incidents occurring in youth, 
as from descent. 

In instruction much depends on exciting curiosity or keeping it 
active. If, within the family or the school, we put questions to a 
child, or place it in such conditions that it will ask questions, its curi- 
osity is excited. If, on the other hand, we discourage and repress the 
inquisitive disposition, the impulses of curiosity are arrested, and the 
mind gradually bends toward indifference or timidity. "From the 
primary school to the university, the teaching may favor, contradict, 
or direct in one manner or another the inquisitive spirit of young people. 
Appropriate questioning, the repulsion of frivolous or inappropriate 
questions, approval of those which are serious, and the solution of 
which is possible to the pupil, speaking about things which are not yet 
discovered or comprehended, but the discovery of which by means of 
research and reflection is hopeful, a rare use of the principle of author- 
ity, which is opposed to scientific methods, are means which may be 
indicated to teachers as adapted to direct the minds of their pupils 
toward the higher region of the sciences. Those are not the most elo- 
quent or the most lucid professors who excite inquisitive minds, but 
those rather whose teachings leave doubts and suggest questions. If 
they can tell the whole and still excite curiosity, it is well ; but to pro- 
voke the efforts of the pupils by badly directed teaching is not as re- 
grettable as it is thought to be. Especially in the mathematical sci- 
ences, in which it is so important for the student to fix his attention, a 
merely ordinary teacher often succeeds better than a very skillful one.* 
The worst teacher, in the author's opinion, is the one who represents 
science as finished. A point on which many of Mr. Galton's corre- 
spondents, in the course of his inquiries respecting the education of 
English scientific men have insisted, "is that of giving freedom and 
leisure to pupils who show strong tastes in their studies. As they are 
original, curious, and independent in disposition, they are not very fond 
of having tasks imposed upon them. They are often poor scholars, 
but they are scholars who have a future, and provision ought to be 
made for giving them special treatment. Unfortunately, the system 
of education in common is opposed to that ; and this is one of the rea- 
sons why so many schools form mediocrities, without favoring indi- 
viduals who are superior to the average." 

In reading the biographies of the several foreign associates of the 
French Academy, it is often a matter of surprise to observe how medi- 
ocre were some of the instructors of illustrious men, and how many 

* " They say," said the author to Regnault, professor in the Ecole polytechnique of 
Paris, " that when you were young the school produced many more celebrated mathema- 
ticians and physicists than it does now. Is it true ? " " Perhaps so," he answered. 
" Why ? " " Because, you see, our principal professor of mathematics was so obscure, 
that the pupils had to meet after each lesson to go over it again. For some time I had to 
revise the exercise-books of my comrades. You can not imagine how it made me work." 


who were pupils of the most celebrated professors held a secondary- 
rank in science ; and we have to admit that, while illustrious savants 
may give good instruction, good teaching doe3 not make illustrious 
savatits. A deplorable effect of instruction is to diminish originality, 
without some proportion of which quality a scientific man can not rise 
above the mean. 

When we inquire what is the influence of religion upon the de- 
velopment of scientific men, we find that the non-Christian countries 
are completely foreign to the scientific movement. We have no right 
to conclude from this that one has to be a Christian to be distinguished 
in science, for there are many examples to contradict such an assertion. 
We can only say that the Christian religion has been favorable to sci- 
ence by its general influence upon civilization. We can at least affirm 
that it has been, in the modern epoch, the only religion which has 
coincided with a real scientific development. Between the divisions 
of Christendom, the advantage is vastly in favor of Protestantism. 
While the proportion of Protestant to Roman Catholic populations is 
one to one and a half, Europe, outside of France, has furnished four 
times as many Protestant as Roman Catholic foreign associates to 
the French Academy of Sciences. France, where most of the Roman 
Catholic scientific men reside, has furnished about an equal number of 
Protestant and Roman Catholic foreign members of the Royal Society 
of London. No English or Irish Roman Catholic name appears on the 
list of the French Academy, although that Church includes a fifth of 
the population of the United Kingdom. Austria is not represented 
there, and Roman Catholic Germany makes but a poor showing by the 
side of Protestant Germany. In Switzerland, where the Catholics are 
to the Protestants as one to one and a half, not one of the foreign as- 
sociates is a Roman Catholic. A similar difference appears to exist 
as among Swiss, English, and Irish, of the two cults in the lists of the 
London and Berlin societies. The difference is not attributable to any- 
thing in the doctrines of the churches, but rather to the different atti- 
tude direct or indirect of their clergy toward education, according 
as it is their habit to prescribe by authority or to leave every one 
free to form his own opinion. The more we proceed in an authori- 
tative way, the more we repress curiosity, the mother of science, and 
increase mental timidity. A population educated for many generations 
under the principle of authority naturally becomes timid in intellectual 
affairs. But a population habituated from infancy to scrutinize con- 
cerns which it is told are of the greatest importance, like those of 
religion, will not be afraid to examine purely scientific questions, and 
will know better how to proceed to the solution of them. The fact, 
already referred to, should not be forgotten, that a large number of 
distinguished men of science have been the sons of Protestant pastors. 
Remove from the list of savants of Protestant countries the names ap- 
pertaining to this class, and we shall find the scientific standing of the 


two cults as to the other names nearly equal. Thus, a rule of pure dis- 
cipline, fopeign to the doctrines and which has not always existed in 
the Church, has had bad consequences for science in Roman Catholic 

Classes of ideas, feelings, sympathies, and antipathies may be trans- 
mitted in families by imitation or tradition, and have great influence 
on the course of their members. They often result from some great 
event which has made a marked impression on the family ; and we may 
have among the number traditions favorable to the pursuit of science. 
Pointed examples are afforded of them in the history of some of the 
Protestant families who were expelled from Roman Catholic countries 
in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries. Among these 
are the nine Bernouillis, who were famous in mathematics or physics. 
Of the men of this class there have been eleven of the one hundred 
and one foreign associates of the French Academy an enormous pro- 
portion for a total population of less than a million souls. If the same 
proportion had ruled among, say, the Germans at large, we should 
have had three hundred and thirty German foreign associates instead 
of twenty-three ; or in the United Kingdom, one hundred and thirty 
British associates instead of twenty-seven ; and ten of these eleven 
lived in Switzerland. We might increase this number if we could 
trace all the cases of descent from refugee mothers. The English 
Puritans, who emigrated to this country, had essentially the same 
dispositions and character with the French Protestant refugees of the 
sixteenth century. Their descendants, direct and indirect, in New 
England have also shown favorable tendencies toward sciences of 
every kind. They have given Franklin and Rumford to the Euro- 
pean academies and have furnished other distinguished men of 
science and historians and men of letters in the United States. The 
current immigration to the United States, being composed chiefly of 
working-men, does not bear the promise of exercising influence on the 
progress of science. But if every emigrant-vessel carried only one 
such man as Nuttall, Agassiz, Engelmann, Marcou, or Pourtales, we 
might expect different results. These men and others like them are 
already laying the foundations of good scientific traditions, and are 
adding their influence to that of the Pilgrims of New England. 

Public opinion is beneficial or not, according as it encourages or 
gives the stamp of fashion to those tastes and aims which are con- 
genial with scientific pursuits, or to the opposite ones. Form of gov- 
ernment seems to exercise but little positive influence. Provided civ- 
ilization is not destroyed by long seasons of revolutionary violence or 
wars, there is no reason for supposing that scientific work will be 
arrested in any country solely on account of its political regime. Cus- 
toms are much more important, and also education and family tradi- 
tions. The most favorable geographical situations are in the midst of 
civilized nations, in the temperate zone. Science does not prosper in 


the equatorial and tropical regions, nor in the south of Europe as 
much as in the north and center. 

Nationality is not intrinsically a factor in science. Nevertheless, 
some nations have in their geographical situation, their extent, lan- 
guage, customs, or other incidental circumstances, features which are 
more or less favorable to science than corresponding features in other 
nations. The rank in representation in the academies has fluctuated 
variously between England, France, and Germany during the two cent- 
uries, while the smaller nations, like Holland, Switzerland, and the 
Scandinavian states, have, in proportion to their population, more than 
held their own in the competition with them. Switzerland seems to 
hold an extraordinary and constant superiority. Some of the reasons 
for this have been already explained. Another reason is to be found 
in the fact, which is brought out in the investigation, that a small 
country is on the whole more favorable to science than a large one. 

If public institutions could really furnish incitements to scientific 
researches and promote their success, large countries would have a 
manifest advantage. In other words, there should regularly be more 
illustrious savants to the million souls in a great nation than in a small 
one. The facts as revealed by statistics are of contrary import, and 
it is not impossible to divine why this is so. There are in a small coun- 
try, so far as concerns science, two advantages which may afford am- 
ple offsets to the lucrative places and honorary distinctions of large 
countries. One of the advantages is the relatively smaller importance 
of all public functions. In a small country, the careers of the army, 
the magistracy, and the administration can offer only moderate tempta- 
tions to youth who feel themselves capable. If they aspire to a Euro- 
pean reputation, science is the best means within their reach by which 
to obtain it. The public comprehends this, and, as it desires the value 
of the country to be measured by some other standard than that of 
the extent of its territory, it gives a moral support to men who seek to 
distinguish themselves in affairs purely intellectual. And this support 
of opinion, which is quite sensible in very small states, like Denmark 
and the Swiss cantons, comprehends also the advantage that men of 
merit prefer to remain in their country ; and they preserve there their 
good influence and their wholesome traditions, instead of removing to 
the capitals of great states. 

Furthermore, small countries touch upon other states at all points, 
or are, we might say, all frontiers. One can not live in one of them 
without making frequent comparisons with the institutions, laws, and 
usages of adjacent countries. This alone is a cause of intellectual ac- 
tivity, and profits to the cultivation of science. The vicinity of nation- 
al boundaries has also the excellent effect of rendering a complete 
tyranny impossible. It is very easy for persecuted persons to escape 
from a country of small extent and live at peace in an adjoining state. 
This has often been seen in Switzerland, and was observed in Germany 


and Italy, when they were divided up into many small states. Then, 
when the fugitives have escaped into the other states, they can gener- 
ally get along with the language and customs, which will not be far 
removed from their own. But, in a very large country, not only is it 
hard to escape, but if one expatriates himself he will be exposed to 
the annoyance of finding himself among populations speaking a differ- 
ent language, and having other habits than his own. 

Of twenty conditions which M. de Candolle lays down as favorable 
and the opposite of them as decidedly unfavorable to the progress of 
science, Switzerland has all, and no unfavorable opposites ; Turkey all 
the unfavorable ones, and no favorable ones ; the United States all but 
four favorable, and the exceptions want of a wealthy class, want of a 
leisurely class devoting themselves to scientific enjoyments, lack of mu- 
seums, etc., and non-proximity of civilized countries are neither grave 
nor characteristic, but only temporary. 

Above all the conditions enumerated, and controlling them, is the 
superior condition, primarily requisite, that every individual shall be 
secured in the ability to do what he judges fit, provided he does no 
harm to another. The idea is commonly expressed by the two terms, 
security and liberty ; but, in fact, there can be no security without 
liberty, nor liberty without security. The terms complement one 
another. The favorable conditions appear as a whole to have accumu- 
lated in their most obvious form in a triangular space comprehended 
between Central Italy, Scotland, and Sweden, with a projection extend- 
ing across the ocean to New England. This peculiar shaping is the 
result of historical causes, the chief of which are the three decisive 
movements for European civilization of the Renaissance, which origi- 
nated in Tuscany ; the Reformation, which started in Germany ; and 
political liberty, which has been laboriously and slowly developed in 
England. Other very important factors or superior conditions are, 
that the race shall be European, or of European origin ; that a long 
selection shall have prepared a considerable number of families for in- 
tellectual labors ; that the climate shall not be one of depressing heat, 
and that the geographical situation shall not be too far removed from 
centers of intellectual culture. 

If we inquire what have been the most important scientific discov- 
eries that is, those which have not been mere applications, but which 
have opened new fields of research made during the last forty years, 
we shall find among them those of spectral analysis, the transformation 
of forces, the ancient extension of the glaciers, the antiquity of man 
and prehistoric studies, evolution and natural selection, alternating 
generations, and deep-sea explorations. These have all originated in 
Scandinavia, Central Germany, Switzerland, Northern France, or Eng- 
land, or in the countries which have been found to occupy the first 
places in the academical lists. If we extend the inquiry to fifty or 
sixtv years back, we shall find the case substantially the same. The 


countries all lie within the region which has been marked as governed 
by the most favorable conditions for science. 

Very distinguished or illustrious men compose in a manner the 
framework of our history ; but by their side we may see a considerable 
number who have perhaps contributed quite as much, by their collect- 
ive efforts, to the continuous progress of science. There may be found 
in this category some very ingenious men, very industrious, and worthy 
to figure in the first ranks, but whom a premature death has removed 
from activity, who have been prevented from publishing, or who have 
been obliged to give most of their time to work which made no show- 
ing. The celebrities who shine in the full light are, in reality, the 
manifestation of the existence of a public well informed and friendly 
to research. Scientific work is, in fact, much more than it appears to 
be, collective. This is one of the reasons why particular countries and 
groups of population obtain a superiority over others, and keep it for 
centuries. One or two celebrated men may disappear, without the choice 
and progressive population of which they were the highest expression 
being annulled. A group which has once produced such illustrations 
of its vigor may at any time furnish others. 

Under the present multiplication of scientific schools and societies, 
laboratories, museums, and establishments in which science is applied, 
thousands of persons are competing in scientific labors. The more 
this array of workers grows, the more should it have within itself in- 
ventive minds who will perfect processes and occasionally make dis- 
coveries. The average class of scientific men is now of higher quality, 
because it represents better teaching and more skill in practice ; but 
there will always be above this medium rank better endowed and more 
active sava?7ts, or those who are more masters of their time and their 
persons. The popularization of science by means of books, periodi- 
cals, lectures, and societies, and the interest taken by all intelligent 
people in scientific matters, are of great advantage to the progress 
of knowledge, fcr specialists make recruits and easily find assistance 
in mediums thus disposed. The slow and costly movements of gov- 
ernments are not equal in value to the zealous and disinterested impul- 
sion of the public. M. de Candolle's opinions respecting the influence 
of politics and government patronage on scientific pursuits are, in fact, 
very decidedly expressed. After showing how religious preposses- 
sions, which are usually more positive, more firmly held, and more ex- 
clusive than any other kind of prejudices, may interfere with the free 
exercise of scientific thought, he observes that the incompatibility of 
political relations is still greater ; for politicians defend, not what they 
believe to be true, but what appears practicable or possible to realize, 
and are subservient to the authority of chiefs and majorities. Politics 
agree well with the aims of those whose chief pursuit is that of mate- 
rial gain, for such men frequently have to use the same methods as poli- 
ticians to succeed ; but the person who is seeking for pure truth in his- 


tory, in law, or in moral, natural, or other science, is out of his place in a 
political assembly. He would hardly go there except from motives of 
patriotism, or under a transitory, enthusiastic impulse, and would very 
soon find out that he did not belong there. How could he lend him- 
self to the manoeuvres of politicians ? How, for example, could he 
trade off a principle against a railroad, a charitable foundation for an 
election ? How could he consent to transactions between truth and 
falsehood, to the barter of opinions which is the rule in political affairs ? 
Men of science are sometimes found in considerable numbers in politi- 
cal assemblies, but the others always do their best to make them ridicu- 
lous, and kill them off by giving them bad names. "As a rule," M. de 
Candolle adds, " governments too much confound teaching with progress 
in science. Many of them believe they have done everything when 
they have created schools and universities. They do not comprehend 
that they often do more harm than good by restricting these institutions 
in their methods, or in the choice of teachers. They do not know to 
what degree science lives on liberty and on the individual work of 
masters and pupils outside of the lessons. Sometimes they over- 
charge the professors with courses, examinations, or administrative 
details which deprive those who wish to work of the time to do so.* 
They pay but little attention to the encouragement of original publica- 
tions, the sale of which at the book-stores is far from being remunera- 
tive, and even when they do anything in that way, it is awkwardly, 
and to poor purpose. 

" The idea of constructing expensive buildings for universities, lab- 
oratories, etc., is now very much in vogue. Such munificence furthers 
some works and gives means of obtaining greater precision in experi- 
ments, but it discourages isolated investigators who have not the same 
resources, while researches at home are usually the best thought out and 
the most original." f 

Absolute sovereigns have sometimes invited distinguished men to 
their capitals and bestowed their favors upon them. But this, after 
all, was only a way of changing the place of scientific culture, not of 
creating it. Generally, emigrations of savants have been useful to 

* " At the moment of writing this phrase, I have before me letters of French, German, 
and Italian professors, lamenting that they can not work for science, because they are 
charged with hundreds of examinations which could be attended to just as well by per- 
sons whose time is less valuable." 

f Haeckel has gone so far as to say that the scientific work of institutions and the 
intrinsic value of their publications stand in an inverse ratio to the magnitude of the 
buildings and the splendid appearance of their volumes. " I need only refer," he adds, 
" to the small and miserable institutes and the meager resources with which Baer in 
Konigsberg, Schleiden in Jena, Johannes Miiller in Berlin, Liebig in Giesscn, Yirchow in 
Wiirzburg, Gcgenbaur in Jena, have not only each advanced their special science most 
extensively, but have actually created new spheres for them. Compare with these the 
colossal expenditures and the luxurious apparatus in the grand institutes of Cambridge, 
Leipsic, and other so-called great universities what have they produced in proportion to 
their means ? " 


themselves, to science, and to the countries which have welcomed 
them, in proportion as rulers have had the good sense to leave them 
time to work. 

Democracies encourage savants most by leaving them the widest 
liberty of opinion. They have furthermore the advantage of causing 
the separation from political life and public functions of those men 
who have taste for research, cabinet-work, independence of thought, 
and for the truth as set above popularity and material considerations, 
or for precisely those things which most further the advance of science. 
In general, whatever may be the form or the tendency of the govern- 
ment, men who cultivate science for itself should rather consider them- 
selves fortunate if they are out of favor with the administration. 




CRYSTALS are symmetrical forms bounded by plane surfaces. A 
surface is said to be plane or level when its nature is such as is 
exemplified in a sheet of water extending over dimensions very small 
when compared to the radius of the earth. Crystals occur abundantly ; 
they are generally diminutive and frequently microscopic in size, and 
therefore readily escape ordinary observation. Quite different in this 
respect are many forms caused by the rougher forces active in Nature, 
and analogous to crystals in the regularity of the shapes they assume. 
They are not unfrequently noted for their unique and startling appear- 
ance, as is instanced in the five-sided columns of basalt, known in 
some volcanic regions, and distinguished for their weird forms and the 
awe and superstition they give rise to among the inhabitants. Also 
many erosion figures resulting from the disintegrating action of water 
and air upon rocks. Many examples of this category may be seen in 
the scenic displays of unexcelled grandeur afforded by our far West. 
Not to these, but to a more commonplace phenomenon, I will now 
direct the attention of the reader, inasmuch as it is, mechanically speak- 
ing, related to and will serve to elucidate the subject under consid- 
eration. I have reference to a heap of particles of more or less uniform 
size, arranging themselves under the influence of the pull or gravity 
of the earth, with the provision that their magnitude should be very 
small relative to that of the whole heap. Thus, a grain or gravel heap 
is an excellent example of the phenomenon I refer to, and it is a very 
remarkable circumstance that different heaps have the same slope, pro- 
vided the character of the material and the support upon which they 
rest remain the same. The slope (the inclination of the sides of the 
heap with the horizon) is dependent upon the magnitude and shape of 
the particles, and also upon the nature of the support ; the whole sys- 



tern being subject to the gravity of the earth, they assume certain 
definite relative positions which determine the magnitude of the slope. 
In order to insure the same slope, the particles need not necessarily be 
perfectly alike, but the average size and shape of a limited number of 
them, chosen at random, should be uniform throughout. It is clear 
that the nature of the support must influence the slope of the heap, for, 
resting on a polished surface like a plate of glass, the slope is less than 
when supported on a rough surface, as a wooden floor. Generally, in 
a heap of gravel the slope is different from that of a heap of grain, 
inasmuch as the dimensions and shape of the grain-particles differ ma- 
terially from those of the gravel-particles. Bearing in mind that the 
magnitude of each of the particles is very small, when compared with 
that of the heap, and therefore their number very large, we have then 
considered a state of aggregation of particles, assuming certain definite 
outward forms, these being dependent upon known causes, which we 
can readily modify at will, so as to produce forms with stated slopes. 
Mechanically, this may be said to be entirely analogous to the problem 
of crystallization. There also we have states of aggregation of parti- 
cles occurring in definite regular shapes of infinite variety, depending 
upon the nature of the substance and the nature of the force active 
between the ultimate particles, and the problem of crystallization is 
solved when the nature of the ultimate particles and of the force 
which holds them in their relative positions in the crystal has become 
known to us. 

These are the actual questions under consideration, and before pro- 
ceeding with their further discussion we cite some instances of crvstal- 
lization of substances, rendered familiar to us, either through their 
utility in the arts and industries, or the recognized value they have by 
reason of their rarity and beauty. In Fig. 1 a crystal of diamond is 

Fia. 1. 

Fig. 2. 

Fig. 3. 

represented ; the beauty and value of this gem are greatly enhanced 
by the cutting process ; the remarkable property of cleavage, which 
all crystals possess to a greater or less extent, is well developed in the 
diamond, and skillfully utilized in its cutting. The form shown in 
the figure occurs at the Cape, and has a yellow tinge ; the bluish-white 

4 8 


Brazilian diamond is preferred. A crystal of hematite (iron-ore) is shown 
in Fig. 2 ; it occurs in the Island of Elba, has an iron-black color and 
metallic luster, while its powder is reddish-brown like ordinary iron-rust. 
Fig. 3 is a crystal of calcite remarkable for its optical property of double 
refraction and its ready cleavability in certain directions ; in substance 
it is the same as ordinary marble ; in fact, the latter consists of micro- 
scopic crystals of calcite. In Fig. 4 we have a crystal of garnet, not 
unfrequently seen in the mica-slates of New York. A crystal of sul- 
phur from Girgenti, Sicily, is shown in Fig. 5 ; that locality abounds 
in fine transparent crystals of this substance. Fig. 6 represents a cube 

Fig. 4. 

Fig. 5. 

Fig. 6. 

of native silver as found in Konigsberg, Norway ; and, finally (Fig. 7), 
a crystal of cassiterite (tin-ore) from Cornwall, in England, which has 
also been discovered in this country in the Black Hills, Dakota Ter- 
ritory. There are seven systems of crystallization, differing in the rela- 
tive magnitudes and directions of certain lines of symmetry, termed 
the axes of the crystal. In the first, second, and third systems, these 
lines bear the same inclination to one another, but their magnitudes 
are respectively equal in the first system (see Fig. 8) (here A A', BB', 



Fig. 7. 

C C,' are the three axes equal in magnitude and inclined at right angles 
to one another), equal in two of them in the second or dimetric system 
(Fig. 9) (here A A' equals BB', but CC is different from these), and 
unequal in all three axes in the third or trimetric system (Fig. 10) (here 
the axes A A', B B', and C C, are all of unequal magnitudes, but their 
mutual inclinations in this as well as in the second system are equal). 



In the three oblique systems the axes are partly or altogether obliquely 
inclined to one another, while their magnitudes are unequal. Fig. 11 
is a crystal of the monoclinic system, and Fig. 12 of the triclinic sys- 
tem. The names of the different oblique systems indicate the mutual 

inclinations of the axes. Fig. 13 
represents a crystal of the hexa- 
gonal system, which is allied in 
symmetry to the dimetric sys- 
tem ; but there are four lines of 
symmetry, of which the three 
A A', B B', and C C, lying in the 

Fig. 10. 

Fig. 11. 

Fig. 12. 

same horizon, are equal in their mutual inclination and magnitude, 
while the fourth axis, D D', is at right angles to these but different in 

The reader will now have formed a tolerably correct idea of a crys- 
tal, and when it is borne in mind that crystallization is a widely dif- 
fused and essential property of matter, and also that the solution of 
this question has engaged some of the ablest minds of the century, 
the high purpose and importance of this investigation will perhaps be- 
come evident to him. 

Now, the invariability of certain relations existing between the 
axes and the planes bounding crystal forms are geometrically similar, 
and are effects produced by causes similar to D 

those which occasion the constancy of the slopes 
in heaps of the same material. In the heap of 
gravel considered above, the horizon was chosen 
as the reference plane in the crystal the planes 
containing the lines of symmetry are selected 
as reference planes, whereby to gauge the in-c 
clination of the bounding surfaces. From our 
considerations of the heap of gravel, the reader 
will perceive the intimate connection between 
outward form and internal structure, and is in a 
measure prepared to follow deductions made from 
the one upon the other. Already in the remote in- 
fancy of mineralogy assumptions as to the internal structure of crystals 
were made to explain the axial relations alluded to. The assumption 
that the internal structure of a crystal is similar to, and in a measure 
identical with, the internal structure of a cannon-ball pile, is sufficient to 
vol. xxix. 4 


explain the axial relations observed in the first, second, and third sys- 
tems of crystallization. In the first system the ultimate particles of the 
crystal are symbolized by the sphere, while in the second and third sys- 
tems they are figures of oval form. The cannon-ball pile arrangement, 
or, as it is termed, the tetrad configuration, is represented in Fig. 14 
(perspective of vertical circles of contact of the spheres) ; it derives 
this name from the fact that its type consists of four equal mutually 
touching spheres (Fig. 15). If in such an arrangement of particles 
sections are made in certain directions, we obtain the faces of the 
several crystal forms. In this manner the octahedral face (Fig. 16), 
the cubical face (Fig. 17), and the dodecahedral face (Fig. 18), have 
been obtained. In an octahedron, or in a cube, or in a dodecahe- 
dron, represented respectively in Figs. 8, 6, 4, and respectively com- 
posed of layers as indicated in Figs. 16, 17, 18, the ultimate particles 
have the same common arrangement, that is, the tetrad grouping. 
These forms, as has been shown above, all occur in nature ; but as 
yet the most powerful microscope has been unable to dissolve a crystal 
face into its ultimate particles. Still, they are not insensibly small ; 
their dimensions are shown to lie between certain limits, ascertained 
by combined computation and observation, and it is highly satisfactory 
that physicists have approximately obtained the same results in this 
direction, although the methods chosen were different. And it is the 
fact that we are dealing with invisibly small particles which renders 
the problem under consideration one of peculiar difficulty and interest. 
Instead of the tetrad configuration, there is a second grouping of par- 
ticles, which would also serve to explain the observed axial relations 
of crystals. It is deduced from Fig. 19, by placing the layer of spheres 
marked a centrally over the layer marked b. But this grouping can 
not exist permanently in Nature ; it is, as I have elsewhere shown, in a 
mechanical state similar to that of an exceedingly thin coin placed on 
its edge the slightest effort, tending to upset the coin, would do so 
it is what is termed a position of unstable equilibrium, and therefore 
can not exist permanently ; the tetrad configuration, on the contrary, 
is in stable equilibrium. 

AVe have thus already almost involuntarily introduced force as 
a factor in our considerations, and the deductions already made from 
outward form upon internal structure must necessarily also embrace 
considerations of the forces that the ultimate particles are subject to ; 
and again, in order to bring the subject within the natural sphere of 
conception of the human mind, we will analyze the force transitions 
and the force law in a cannon-ball pyramid, subject to the gravity of the 
earth, preparatory to proceeding with the more remote and recondite 
subject of crystallization. In Fig. 14 it is clear that the weight of the 
top ball is distributed among the lower three, in the three direction- 
lines joining the centers of the top and three lower balls respectively. 
On examination of a pyramid composed of a larger number of balls, 



we observe that every ball of the pyramid bears the weight only of 
those balls that are arranged in three lines parallel to upper edges 
of the pyramid respectively, and meeting in the center of the ball. 
Thus, in Figs. 15 a and 15 6 are represented in plan the four layers 
of a pyramid of twenty balls. The ball a, of the lowest layer, can 
only receive the weights of the balls b t b 1 b x of the second layer, trans- 
mitted in direction-lines parallel respectively to the three upper edges 
of the pyramid (Fig. 14), namely, D A, D A , and D A,. The ball a 
can not receive the weight of any other ball of 
the pyramid ; it can not receive the weight of 
the topmost ball, d, inasmuch as the weight of 
this ball is transmitted only in the lines D A, 
DA , and DA 3 , the three upper edges of the 
pyramid ; nor can it receive the weight of the 
ball C of the third layer, for that is only trans- 
mitted in three lines, of which two, CA, and 
CA 3 , can be seen in the figure. By a simple 
application of the physical principle known as 
the parallelogram of forces, we arrive at the 
deduction that all balls equidistant from the 
vertex of the pyramid are solicited by the same force ; or, in other 
words, that every ball of the pyramid is repulsed from the vertex with 
a force proportional to its distance from the vertex, as a direct con- 
sequence of this stress distribution. At the vertex itself the repul- 
sion is zero. The weight of the pyramid is uniformly distributed 
over its base ; a result which can readily be verified by experiment, 
and is also a verification of the stated force law. Now, an exactly 
analogous action occurs among the invisibly small particles of a crystal. 
In the pyramid of balls, it is the pull of the earth upon each ball 
which is active ; in the crystal it is the mutual attraction of the parti- 

Fig. 14. 

Fig. 15. 

cles. In the pyramid of balls, there are only three stress direction- 
lines respectively parallel to the upper edges of the pyramid, inasmuch 
as the pull of the earth acts only vertically downward, hence there 
is no weight transmission in the three horizontal direction-lines paral- 
lel to the basal edges respectively ; in the crystal, however, there are 

5 2 


Fig. 16. 

six stress direction-lines, inasmuch as the mutual forces between the 
ultimate particles of the crystal act in all the directions joining the 
centers of the particles respectively. That the stress can only be 
transmitted in six direction-lines is evident from the following consid- 
eration : In a pyramid of four balls (Fig. 15 b) we have evidently the 

six stress direction-lines 
joining the centers of the 
balls respectively. In 
case of a larger number 
of particles in contact, it 
is clear that in an octa- 
hedral face (Fig. 16) the 
stress can only be trans- 
mitted in three direction- 
lines, A Aj , B B x , and 
C C t , for there is no con- 
tact between the parti- 
cles which would allow 
the stress to be transmit- 
ted in any other direc- 
tion ; in the cubical face 
(Fig. 17) there are but 
two stress direction-lines, D D, and E E t , and in the dodecahedral face 
(Fig. 18) there is but one stress direction-line, F F 1 ; and generally on 
any particle in the tetrad configuration the stress can only be trans- 
mitted in six direction-lines, respectively parallel to the six edges of 
the pyramid. All this applies not only to the first or monometric sys- 
tem of crystallization, in which 
the ultimate particles are sym- 
bolized by the spherical form, 
but also to the dimetric and tri- 
metric systems in which the ulti- 
mate particles are symbolized by 
an oval form. But this analogy 
between the pyramid of balls and 
crystals holds not only for the 
stress distribution, but extends 
also to the law of the forces 
active between the ultimate par- 
ticles. In order to satisfy the 
equilibrium condition, the physi- 
cal doctrine demands a unique 
law of force for a stated stress distribution, and elsewhere I have 
shown this law to be Every particle is attracted to the center of 
the crystal with a force proportional to its distance from the center ; 
while the law for the ball pyramid is Every particle is repulsed from 

Fig. 17. 



the vertex of the pyramid with a force proportional to its distance 
from the vertex. 

The proper mathematical interpretation of the stated force law in 
crystals shows its perfect identity with the Newtonian law of gravita- 
tion, according to which 
every particle of the uni- 
verse attracts every other 
particle, with a force pro- 
portional to the product of 
the masses, and inversely 
as the square of the dis- 
tance. Thus, the symme- 
try, beauty, and definite- 
ness displayed in the in- 
finite variety of crystal 
forms have necessarily im- 
pressed themselves upon 
the observing mind, ever 
since the remote period of 
the dawn of the natural 
sciences, as the silent car- 
riers of a law of profound 
influence upon the nature 
of substances. That this 
law, in obedience to which 
the planets are swept 
through space, should also regulate the position of the tiny crystal mole- 
cule, is a striking instance of the truism, in accordance with which the 
essences of things are not affected by their magnitude, and without 
which the human mind could not conceive the interaction of the forces 
of Nature. 

The stated law also governs the interaction of electrical masses. 
Now, the only reason why it applies to the ultimate particles of a crys- 
tal is their tetrad arrangement. Hence 
the tetrad grouping of the ultimate par- 
ticles, and therefore crystallization, is 
caused by an agent which acts like elec- 
tricity. Very probably it is electricity 
itself, as is evidenced by the electrical 
properties of certain crystal forms, which 
appear to establish an intimate causal 
connection between the structure of 

crystals and this agent. This is illustrated in many so-called hemi- 
morphic forms : these are forms in which opposite ends of a crystal, 
instead of being bounded by faces of the same form, are bounded 
by faces belonging to different forms. This phenomenon occurs in 

Fig. 18. 

Fig. 19. 


crystals of tourmaline, topaz, arid calamine. The ends which show 
this peculiarity alternately exhibit positive and negative electricity 
the one kind when the mineral is heating, and the other while it is 
cooling. The experiments of Faraday and Tyndall also indicate this 
causal connection. Thus the problem of crystallization may be said 
to have arrived at the stage of a partial solution, and the" manner in 
which the result has been obtained clearly shows why an agent like 
electricity is the cause of crystallization ; it also shows a perfect defi- 
nite relation existing between the intensity of this agent and the crys- 
tal form. When it is considered that difference in crystal form is, as 
a rule, associated with difference in chemical composition, it is easy to 
conceive how profoundly important this relation is in the chemism of 
substances. The intimate causal connection between electricity and 
chemical affinity is well accepted. 

The law of the periodicity of the elements, discovered by the Rus- 
sian chemist, Mendeljief ; the investigations of Kekule on the aromatic 
compounds, which throw a strong light upon their structure ; the law 
of Dulong and Petit, as to the constancy of the relation between the 
heat and atomic weight of the elements all these give just grounds 
for the remark that, when brought into proper connection with the 
stated law of crystallization, an epoch may result in our knowledge 
of atoms. 



THE growth of a thing is effected by the joint operation of certain 
forces on certain materials ; and when it dwindles, there is either 
a lack of some materials, or the forces co-operate in a way different 
from that which produces growth. If a structure has varied, the im- 
plication is that the processes w^hich built it up were made unlike the 
parallel processes in other cases, by the greater or less amount of some 
one or more of the matters or actions concerned. Where there is un- 
usual fertility, the play of vital activities is thereby shown to have 
deviated from the ordinary play of vital activities ; and conversely, if 
there is infertility. If the germs, or ova, or seed, or offspring partially 
developed, survive more or survive less, it is either because their molar 
or molecular structures are unlike the average ones, or because they 
are affected in unlike ways by surrounding agencies. When life is 
prolonged, the fact implies that the combination of actions, visible and 
invisible, constituting life, retains its equilibrium longer than usual in 
presence of environing forces which tend to destroy its equilibrium. 
That is to say, growth, variation, survival, death, if they are to be 
reduced to the forms in which physical science can recognize them, 


must be expressed as effects of agencies definitely conceived mechani- 
cal forces, light, heat, chemical affinity, &c. 

This general conclusion brings with it the thought that the phrases 
employed in discussing organic evolution, though convenient and in- 
deed needful, are liable to mislead us by veiling the actual agencies. 
That which really goes on in every organism is the working together 
of component parts in ways conducing to the continuance of their com- 
bined actions, in presence of things and actions outside ; some of which 
tend to subserve, and others to destroy, the combination. The matters 
and forces in these two groups, are the sole causes properly so called. 
The words "natural selection," do not express a cause in the physical 
sense. They express a mode of co-operation among causes or rather, 
to speak strictly, they express an effect of this mode of co-operation. 
The idea they convey seems perfectly intelligible. Natural selection 
having been compared with artificial selection, and the analogy pointed 
out, there apparently remains no indefiniteness : the inconvenience 
being, however, that the definiteness is of a wrong kind. The tacitly 
implied Nature which selects, is not an embodied agency analogous 
to the man who selects artificially ; and the selection is not the picking 
out of an individual fixed on, but the continuance in an active state of 
such individual when others have been overthrown. Mr. Darwin was 
conscious of these misleading implications. In the introduction to his 
Animals and Plants under Domestication (p. 7) he says : 
" For brevity sake I sometimes speak of natural selection as an intelligent power ; 
. . . I have, also, often personified the word Nature; for I have found it diffi- 
cult to avoid this ambiguity ; but I mean by nature only the aggregate action 
and product of many natural laws, and by laws only the ascertained sequence 
of events." 

But while he thus clearly saw, and distinctly asserted, that the factors 
of organic evolution are the concrete actions, inner and outer, to which 
every organism is subject, Mr. Darwin, by habitually using the con- 
venient figure of speech, was, I think, prevented from recognizing so 
fully as he would otherwise have done, certain fundamental conse- 
quences of these actions. 

Though it does not personalize the cause, and does not assimilate 
its mode of working to a human mode of working, kindred objections 
may be urged against the expression to which I was led when seeking 
to present the phenomena in literal terms rather than metaphorical 
terms the survival of the fittest * ; for in a vague way the first word, 
and in a clear way the second word, calls up an anthropocentric idea. 
The thought of survival inevitably suggests the human view of certain 
sets of phenomena, rather than that character which they have simply 
as groups of changes. If, asking what we really know of a plant, we ex- 

* Though Mr. Darwin approved of this expression and occasionally employed it, he 
did not adopt it for general use ; contending, very truly, that the expression Natural Se- 
lection is in some cases more convenient. See Animals and Plants under Domestication 
(first edition) Vol. I, p. 6 ; and Origin of Species (sixth edition) p. 49. 


elude all the ideas associated with the words life and death, we find that 
the sole facts known to us are that there go on in the plant certain inter- 
dependent processes, in presence of certain aiding and hindering influ- 
ences outside of it ; and that in some cases a difference of structure or 
a favourable set of circumstances, allows these inter-dependent pro- 
cesses to go on for longer periods than in other cases. Again, in the 
working together of those many actions, internal and external, which 
determine the lives or deaths of organisms, we see nothing to which 
the words fitness and unfitness are applicable in the physical sense. If 
a key fits a lock, or a glove a hand, the relation of the things to one 
another is presentable to the perceptions. No approach to fitness of 
this kind is made by an organism which continues to live under certain 
conditions. Neither the organic structures themselves, nor their indi- 
vidual movements, nor those combined movements of certain among 
them which constitute conduct, are related in any analogous way to 
the things and actions in the environment. Evidently the word fittest, 
as thus used, is a figure of speech ; suggesting the fact that amid sur- 
rounding actions, an organism characterized by the word has either a 
greater ability than others of its kind to maintain the equilibrium of 
its vital activities, or else has so much greater a power of multiplica- 
tion that though not longer lived than they, it continues to live in pos- 
terity more persistently. And indeed, as we here see, the word fittest 
has to cover cases in which there may be less ability than usual to sur- 
vive individually, but in which the defect is more than made good by 
higher degrees of fertility. 

I have elaborated this criticism with the intention of emphasizing 
the need for studying the changes which have gone on, and are ever 
going on, in organic bodies, from an exclusively physical point of view. 
On contemplating the facts from this point of view, we become aware 
that, besides those special effects of the co-operating forces which 
eventuate in the longer survival of one individual than of others, and 
in the consequent increase through generations, of some trait which 
furthered its survival ; many other effects are being wrought on each 
and all of the individuals. Bodies of every class and quality, inorganic 
as well as organic, are from instant to instant subject to the influences 
in their environments ; are from instant to instant being changed by 
these in ways that are mostly inconspicuous ; and are in course of time 
changed by them in conspicuous ways. Living things in common with 
dead things, are, I say, being thus perpetually acted upon and modi- 
fied ; and the changes hence resulting, constitute an all-important part 
of those undergone in the course of organic evolution. I do not mean 
to imply that changes of this class pass entirely unrecognized ; for, as 
we shall see, Mr. Darwin takes cognizance of certain secondary and 
special ones. But the effects which are not taken into account, are 
those primary and universal effects which give certain fundamental 
characters, to all organisms. Contemplation of an analogy will best 


prepare the way for appreciation of them, and of the relation they bear 
to those which at present moDopolize attention. 

An observant rambler along shores, will, here and there, note 
places where the sea has deposited things more or less similar, and 
separated them from dissimilar things will see shingle parted from 
sand ; larger stones sorted from smaller stones ; and will occasionally 
discover deposits of shells more or less worn by being rolled about. 
Sometimes the pebbles or boulders composing the shingle at one end 
of a bay, he will find much larger than those at the other : inter- 
mediate sizes, having small average differences, occupying the space 
between the extremes. An example occurs, if I remember rightly, 
some mile or two to the west of Tenby ; but the most remarkable and 
well-known example is that afforded by the Chesil bank. Here, 
along a shore some sixteen miles long, there is a gradual increase in 
the sizes of the stones ; which, being at one end but mere pebbles, 
are at the other end great boulders. In this case, then, the break- 
ers and the undertow have effected a selection have at each place 
left behind those stones which were too large to be readily moved, 
while taking away others small enough to be moved easily. But 
now, if we contemplate exclusively this selective action of the sea, 
we overlook certain important effects which the sea simultaneously 
works. While the stones have been differently acted upon in so far 
that some have been left here and some carried there ; they have 
been similarly acted upon in two allied, but distinguishable, ways. 
By perpetually rolling them about and knocking them one against 
another, the waves have so broken off their most prominent parts as 
to produce in all of them more or less rounded forms ; and then, fur- 
ther, the mutual friction of the stones simultaneously caused, has 
smoothed their surfaces. That is to say in general terms, the actions 
of environing agencies, so far as they have operated indiscriminately, 
have produced in the stones a certain unity of character ; at the same 
time that they have, by their differential effects, separated them : the 
larger ones having withstood certain violent actions which the smaller 
ones could not withstand. 

Similarly with other assemblages of objects which are alike in their 
primary traits but unlike in their secondary traits. When simultane- 
ously exposed to the same set of actions, some of these actions, rising 
to a certain intensity, may be expected to work on particular members 
of the assemblage changes which they cannot work in those which are 
markedly unlike ; while others of the actions will work in all of them 
similar changes, because of the uniform relations between these actions 
and certain attributes common to all members of the assemblage. 
Hence it is inferable that on living organisms, which form an assem- 
blage of this kind, and are unceasingly exposed in common to the 
agencies composing their inorganic environments, there must be 
wrought two such sets of effects. There will result a universal likeness 


among them consequent on the likeness of their respective relations to 
the matters and forces around ; and there will result, in some cases, 
the differences due to the differential effects of these matters and 
forces, and in other cases, the changes which, being life-sustaining or 
life-destroying, eventuate in certain natural selections. 

I have, above, made a passing reference to the fact that Mr. Dar- 
win did not fail to take account of some among these effects directly 
produced on organisms by surrounding inorganic agencies. Here are 
extracts from the sixth edition of the Origin of Species showing this. 

" It is very difficult to decide how far changed conditions, such as of climate, 
food, &c, have acted in a definite manner. There is reason to believe that in 
the course of time the effects have heen greater than can he proved by clear 
evidence. . . . Mr. Gould believes that birds of the same species are more 
brightly coloured under a clear atmosphere, than when living near the coast or 
on islands; and Wollaston is convinced that residence near the sea affects the 
colours of insects. Moquin-Tandon gives a list of plants which, when growing 
near the sea-shore, have their leaves in some degree fleshy, though not elsewhere 
fleshy " (pp. 106-7). " Some observers are convinced that a damp climate af- 
fects the growth of the hair, and that with the hair the horns are correlated " 
(p. 159). 

In his subsequent work, Animals and PIa?its under Domestication, 
Mr. Darwin still more clearly recognizes these causes of change in or- 
ganization. A chapter is devoted to the subject. After premising 
that "the direct action of the conditions of life, whether leading to 
definite or indefinite results, is a totally distinct consideration from the 
effects of natural selection ; " he goes on to say that changed condi- 
tions of life " have acted so definitely and powerfully on the organiza- 
tion of our domesticated productions, that they have sufficed to form 
new sub-varieties or races, without the aid of selection by man or of 
natural selection." Of his examples here are two. 

" I have given in detail in the ninth chapter the most remarkable case known to 
me, namely, that in Germany several varieties of maize brought from the hotter 
parts of America were transformed in the course of only two or three genera- 
tions." (Vol. ii, p. 277.) [And in this ninth chapter concerning these and 
other such instances he says " some of the foregoing differences would certainly 
be considered of specific value with plants in a state of nature." (Vol. i, p. 
321.)] "Mr. Meehan, in a remarkable paper, compares twenty-nine kinds of 
American trees, belonging to various orders, with their nearest European allies, 
all grown in close proximity in the same garden and under as nearly as possible 
the same conditions." And then enumerating six traits in which the American 
forms all of them differ in like ways from their allied European forms, Mr. Dar- 
win thinks there is no choice but to conclude that these "have been definitely 
caused by the long-continued action of the different elimate of the two conti- 
nents on the trees." (Vol. ii, pp. 281-2.) 

But the fact we have to note is that while Mr. Darwin thus took 
account of special effects due to special amounts and combinations of 
agencies in the environment, he did not take account of the far more 
important effects due to the general and constant operation of these 


agencies.* If a difference between the quantities of a force which 
acts on two organisms, otherwise alike and otherwise similarly condi- 
tioned, produces some difference between them ; then, by implication, 
this force produces in both of them effects which they show in common. 
The inequality between two things cannot have a value unless the 
things themselves have values. Similarly if, in two cases, some unlike- 
ness of proportion among the surrounding inorganic agencies to which 
two plants or two animals are exposed, is followed by some unlikeness 
in the changes wrought on them ; then it follows that these several 
agencies taken separately, work changes in both of them. Hence we 
must infer that organisms have certain structural characters in com- 
mon, which are consequent on the action of the medium in which they 
exist : using the word medium in a comprehensive sense, as including 
all physical forces falling upon them as well as matters bathing them. 
And we may conclude that from the primary characters thus produced 
there must result secondary characters. 

Before going on to observe those general traits of organisms due 
to the general action of the inorganic environment upon them, I feel 
tempted to enlarge on the effects produced by each of the several mat- 
ters and forces constituting the environment. I should like to do this 
not only to give a clear preliminary conception of the ways in which 
all organisms are affected by these universally-present agents, but also 
to show that, in the first place, these agents modify inorganic bodies 
as well as organic bodies, and that, in the second place, the organic 
are far more modifiable by them than the inorganic. But to avoid undue 
suspension of the argument, I content myself with saying that when 
the respective effects of gravitation, heat, light, &c, are studied, as 
well as the respective effects, physical and chemical, of the matters 
forming the media, water and air, it will be found that while more or 
less operative on all bodies, each modifies organic bodies to an extent im- 
mensely greater than the extent to which it modifies inorganic bodies. 

Here, not discriminating among the special effects which these vari- 
ous forces and matters in the environment produce on both classes of 
bodies, let us consider their combined effects, and ask What is the 
most general trait of such effects ? 

* It is true that while not deliberately admitted by Mr. Darwin, these effects are not 
denied by him. In his Animals and Plants under Domestication (vol. ii, 281), he refers 
to certain chapters in the Principles of Biology, in which I have discussed this general 
inter-action of the medium and the organism, and ascribed certain most general traits to 
it. But though, by his expressions, he implies a sympathetic attention to the argument, 
he does not in such way adopt the conclusion as to assign to this factor any share in the 
genesis of organic structures much less that large share which I believe it has had. I 
did not myself at that time, nor indeed until quite recently, see how extensive and pro- 
found have been the influences on organization which, as we shall presently see, are 
traceable to the early results of this fundamental relation between organism and medium. 
I may add that it is in an essay on " Transcendental Physiology," first published in 1857, 
that the line of thought here followed out in it wider bearings, was first entered upon. 


Obviously the most general trait is the greater amount of change 
wrought on the outer surface than in the inner mass. In so far as the 
matters of which the medium is composed come into play, the unavoid- 
able implication is that they act more on the parts directly exposed to 
them than on the parts sheltered from them. And in so far as the 
forces pervading the medium come into play, it is manifest that, ex- 
cluding gravity, which affects outer and inner parts indiscriminately, 
the outer parts have to bear far larger shares of their actions. If it is 
a question of heat, then the exterior must lose it or gain it faster than 
the interior ; and in a medium which is now warmer and now colder, 
the two must habitually differ in temperature to some extent at least 
where the size is considerable. If it is a question of light, then in all 
but absolutely transparent masses, the outer parts must undergo more 
of any change producible by it than the inner parts supposing other 
things equal ; by which I mean, supposing the case is not complicated 
by any such convexities of the outer surface as produce internal con- 
centrations of rays. Hence then, speaking generally, the necessity is 
that the primary and almost universal effect of the converse between 
the body and its medium, is to differentiate its outside from its inside. 
I say almost universal, because where the body is both mechanically 
and chemically stable, like, for instance, a quartz crystal, the medium 
may fail to work either inner or outer change. 

Of illustrations among inorganic bodies, a convenient one is sup- 
plied by an old cannon-ball that has been long lying exposed. A coat- 
ing of rust, formed of flakes within flakes, incloses it ; and this thick- 
ens year by year, until, perhaps, it reaches a stage at which its exterior 
loses as much by rain and wind as its interior gains by further oxida- 
tion of the iron. Most mineral masses pebbles, boulders, rocks if 
they show any effect of the environment at all, show it only by that 
disintegration of surface which follows the freezing of absorbed water : 
an effect which, though mechanical rather than chemical, equally illus- 
trates the general truth. Occasionally a " rocking-stone " is thus pro- 
duced. There are formed successive layers relatively friable in text- 
ure, each of which, thickest at the most exposed parts, and being 
presently lost by weathering, leaves the contained mass in a shape 
more rounded than before ; until, resting on its convex under-surface, 
it is easily moved. But of all instances perhaps the most remarkable 
is one to be seen on the west bank of the Nile at Philae, where a ridge 
of granite 100 feet high, has had its outer parts reduced in course 
of time to a collection of boulder-shaped masses, varying from say a 
yard in diameter to eight or ten feet, each one of which shows in 
progress an exfoliation of successively-formed shells of decomposed 
granite : most of the masses having portions of such shells partially 

If, now, inorganic masses, relatively so stable in composition, thus 
have their outer parts differentiated from their inner parts, what must 


we say of organic masses, characterized by such extreme chemical in- 
stability ? instability so great that their essential material is named 
protein, to indicate the readiness with which it passes from one isom- 
eric form to another. Clearly the necessary inference is that this effect 
of the medium must be wrought inevitably and promptly, wherever 
the relation of outer and inner has become settled : a qualification for 
which the need will be seen hereafter. 

Beginning with the earliest and most minute kinds of living things, 
we necessarily encounter difficulties in getting direct evidence ; since, 
of the countless species now existing, all have been subject during 
millions upon millions of years to the evolutionary process, and have 
had their primary traits complicated and obscured by these endless 
secondary traits which the natural selection of favourable variations 
has produced. Among protophytes it needs but to think of the multi- 
tudinous varieties of diatoms and desmids, with their elaborately-con- 
structed coverings ; or of the definite methods of growth and multi- 
plication among such simple Algce as the Conjugates y to see that most 
of their distinctive characters are due to inherited constitutions, which 
have been slowly moulded by survival of the fittest to this or that 
mode of life. To disentangle such parts of their developmental 
changes as are due to the action of the medium, is therefore hardly 
possible. We can hope only to get a general conception of it by con- 
templating the totality of the facts. 

The first cardinal fact is that all protophytes are cellular all show 
us this contrast between outside and inside. Supposing the multitudi- 
nous specialities of the envelope in different orders and genera of 
protophytes to be set against one another, and mutually cancelled, 
there remains as a trait common to them an envelope unlike that 
which it envelopes. The second cardinal fact is that this simple trait 
is the earliest trait displayed in germs, or spores, or other parts from 
which new individuals are to arise ; and that, consequently, this trait 
must be regarded as having been primordial. For it is an established 
truth of organic evolution that embryos show us, in general ways, the 
forms of remote ancestors ; and that the first changes undergone, indi- 
cate, more or less clearly, the first changes which took place in the 
series of forms through which the existing form has been reached. 
Describing, in successive groups of plants, the early transformations of 
these primitive units, Sachs * says of the lowest Algae that " the con- 
jugated protoplasmic body clothes itself with a cell- wall" (p. 10) ; 
that in " the spores of Mosses and Vascular Cryptogams " and in " the 
pollen of Phanerogams " . . . " the protoplasmic body of the mother- 
cell breaks up into four lumps, which quickly round themselves off and 
contract and become enveloped by a cell-membrane only after com- 
plete separation" (p. 13) ; that in the Equisetacece "the young spores, 

* Text-Book of Botany, dtc. by Julius Sachs. Translated by A. W. Bennett and "W. T. 
T. Dyer. 


when first separated, are still naked, but they soon become surrounded 
by a cell-membrane " (p. 14) ; and that in higher plants, as in the pol- 
len of many Dicotyledons, " the contracting daughter-cells secrete cel- 
lulose even duriug their separation " (p. 14). Here, then, in whatever 
way we interpret it, the fact is that there quickly arises an outer layer 
different from the contained matter. But the most significant evidence 
is furnished by " the masses of protoplasm that escape into water from 
the injured sacs of Vaucheria, which often instantly become rounded 
into globular bodies," and of which the " hyaline protoplasm envelopes 
the whole as a skin" (p. 41) which " is denser than the inner and more 
watery substance " (p. 42). As in this case the protoplasm is but a 
fragment, and as it is removed from the influence of the parent-cell, 
this differentiating process can scarcely be regarded as anything more 
than the effect of physico-chemical actions : a conclusion which is sup- 
ported by the statement of Sachs that " not only every vacuole in a 
solid protoplasmic body, but also every thread of protoplasm which 
penetrates the sap-cavity, and finally the inner side of the protoplasm- 
sac which encloses the sap-cavity, is also bounded by a skin " (p. 42). 
If then " every portion of a protoplasmic body immediately surrounds 
itself, when it becomes isolated, with such a skin," which is shown in 
all cases to arise at the surface of contact with sap or water, this pri- 
mary differentiation of outer from inner must be ascribed to the direct 
action of the medium. Whether the coating thus initiated is secreted 
by the protoplasm, or whether, as seems more likely, it results from 
transformation of it, matters not to the argument. Either way the ac- 
tion of the medium causes its formation ; and either way the many 
varied and complex differentiations which developed cell- walls display, 
must be considered as originating from those variations of this phys- 
ically-generated covering which natural selection has taken advan- 
tage of. 

The contained protoplasm of a vegetal cell, which has some self- 
mobility and when liberated sometimes performs amoeba-like motions 
for a time, may be regarded as an imprisoned amoeba ; and when we 
pass from it to a free amoeba, which is one of the simplest types of 
first animals, or Protozoa, we naturally meet with kindred phenomena. 
The general trait which here concerns us, is that while its plastic or 
semi-fluid sarcode goes on protruding, in irregular ways, now this and 
now that part of its periphery, and again withdrawing into its interior 
first one and then another of these temporary processes, perhaps with 
some small portion of food attached, there is but an indistinct differ- 
entiation of outer from inner (a fact shown by the frequent coalescence 
of pseuopodia in Rhizopods) ; but that when it eventually becomes 
quiescent, the surface becomes differentiated from the contents : the 
passing into an encysted state, doubtless in large measure due to in- 
herited proclivity, being furthered, and having probably been once 
initiated, by the action of the medium. The connexion between con- 


stancy of relative position among the parts of the sarcode, and the rise 
of a contrast between superficial and central parts, is perhaps best 
shown in the minutest and simplest Infusoria, the Monadince. The 
genus Monas is described by Kent as " plastic and unstable in form, 
possessing no distinct cuticular investment ; . . . the food-substances 
incepted at all parts of the periphery " * ; and the genus Scytomonas 
he says " differs from Monas only in its persistent shape and accom- 
panying greater rigidity of the peripheral or ectoplasmic layer." f De- 
scribing generally such low and minute forms, some of which have 
neither nucleus nor vacuole, he remarks that in types somewhat 
higher "the outer or peripheral border of the protoplasmic mass, 
while not assuming the character of a distinct cell-wall or so-called 
cuticle, presents, as compared with the inner substance of that mass, a 
slightly more solid type of composition." \ And it is added that these 
forms having so slightly differentiated an exterior " while usually ex- 
hibiting a more or less characteristic normal outline, can revert at will 
to a pseud-amoeboid and repent state." # Here, then, we have several 
indications of the truth that the permanent externality of a certain 
part of the substance, is followed by transformation of it into a coat- 
ing unlike the substance it contains. Indefinite and structureless in 
the simplest of these forms, as instance again the Gregarina, || the 
limiting membrane becomes, in higher Infusoria, definite and often 
complex ; showing that the selection of favourable variations has had 
largely to do with its formation. In such types as the Foraminifera, 
which, almost structureless internally though they are, secrete calca- 
reous shells, it is clear that the nature of this outer laver is determined 
by inherited constitution. But recognition of this consists with the 
belief that the action of the medium initiated the outer layer, special- 
ized though it now is ; and that even still, contact with the medium 
excites secretion of it. 



MAN, like any other animal, is so much the creature of his food 
his physical perfection, his intellectual activity, and his moral 
tone are so dependent on the food he receives and the uses he is able 
to make of it in the processes of digestion and assimilation that any 
accurate knowledge, founded on precise and reliable methods of inves- 
tigation, of the influence on digestion and nutrition of dietetic habits 
must of necessity be of the most general interest. 

* A Manual of the Infusoria, by W. Saville Kent. Vol. i, p. 232. 

\ lb. Vol. i, p. 241. " % K ent. Vol. i, p. 56. * lb., 1. c. Vol. i, p. 57. 

fl The Elements of Comparative Anatomy, by T. H. Huxley, pp. 7-9. 


To Professor Sir William Roberts, of Manchester, we were already 
greatly indebted for a series of able and comprehensive researches on 
the action of " digestive ferments " and the " preparation and use 
of artificially digested food " ; * to those valuable researches Sir W. 
Roberts has recently added others equally important, chiefly on the 
subject of "food accessories" and their influence on the chemical acts 
of digestion, f 

The results of these experimental inquiries are, in some respects, 
so novel and unexpected, and they contradict so many apparently un- 
founded assumptions, that they can not be too soon or too widely 

Man, as Sir "W. Roberts begins by pointing out, is a very complex 
feeder ; he has departed, in the course of his civilization, very widely 
from the monotonous uniformity of diet observed in animals in the 
wild state. Not only does he differ from other animals in cooking 
his food, but he adds to his food a greater or less number of condi- 
ments for the purpose of increasing its flavor and attractiveness ; but, 
above and beyond this, the complexity of his food-habits is greatly 
increased by the custom of partaking in considerable quantity of cer- 
tain stimulants and restoratives, which have become essential to his 
social comfort if not to his physical well-being. 

The chief of these are tea, coffee, cocoa, and the various kinds of 
alcoholic beverages. 

It is to these "food accessories " and the elucidation of their influ- 
ences on the processes of digestion that Sir TV. Roberts's recent ex- 
periments and observations have been directed. 

These " generalized food-customs of mankind," he remarks, 

are not to be viewed as random practices adopted to please the palate or gratify 
our idle or vicious appetite. These customs must be regarded as the outcome of 
profound instincts, which correspond to important wants of the human econ- 
omy. They are the fruit of colossal experience, accumulated by countless mill- 
ions of men through successive generations. They have the same weight and 
significance as other kindred facts of natural history, and are fitted to yield to 
observation and study lessons of the highest scientific and practical value. 

It is unnecessary to describe here Sir "W. Roberts's methods of 
investigation ; they are fully set forth in the volume before us, and 
they are alike admirable for the ingenuity of their conception and the 
laborious accuracy of their prosecution. 

His object was to ascertain the precise influence of these food ac- 
cessories on the three chief parts of the digestive process : 1. Salivary 
digestion, i. e., the action of the saliva as a digestive agent ; 2. Peptic 
digestion, i. e., the action of the fluids secreted by the stomach as di- 

* " On the Digestive Ferments and the Preparation and Use of Artificially Digested 
Food." Lumleian Lectures, delivered before the Royal College of Physicians in 1880 by 
Sir William Roberts, M. D., F. R. S. London : Smith, Elder, & Co. 

\ " Lectures on Dietetics and Dyspepsia." Smith, Elder, & Co. 


gestive agents ; and, 3. Pancreatic digestion, i. e., the action of the 
secretion of the pancreas as a digestive agent. 

We shall deviate a little from Sir W. Roberts's methed of mar- 
shaling his conclusions, and shall summarize his results as to the ac- 
tion of the various food accessories on these three acts of digestion 


First, with respect to the action of ardent spirits on digestion. The 
experiments were made with " proof -spirit " and with brandy, Scotch 
whisky, and gin ; and the conclusion is that, so far as salivary diges- 
tion is concerned, these spirits, when used in moderation and well di- 
luted, as they usually are when employed dietetically, rather promote 
than retard this part of the digestive process, and this they do by 
causing an increased flow of saliva. "A teaspoonful of brandy or 
whisky introduced into the mouth can be perceived at once to cause a 
gush of saliva. The common practice of adding a tablespoonful of 
brandy to a basin of arrowroot or sago gruel, therefore, promotes its 

The proportion must not, however, much exceed five per cent, and 
gin seems to be a preferable addition to either brandy or whisky. It 
was noticed in these experiments that brandy and Scotch whisky inter- 
fered with the digestive process, " precipitated the starch more read- 
ily," altogether out of proportion to the amount of alcohol they con- 
tained, and brandy was worse than whisky ; and this circumstance 
appears to be due to certain ethers and volatile oils in them ; and 
brandy contains a trace of tannin, which has an intensely retarding 
influence on salivary digestion. 

With regard to " peptic " digestion the results are still more sur- 
prising. It was found that with ten per cent and under of proof- 
spirit there was no appreciable retardation, and only a slight retarda- 
tion with twenty per cent ; but with large percentages it was very 
different, and with fifty per cent the digestive ferment was almost 

In the proportions in which these spirits are usually employed 
dietetically not only do they not appreciably retard digestion, but 
these experiments show that they " act as pure stimulants to gastric 
digestion, causing an increased flow of gastric juice and stimulating 
the muscular contractions of the stomach, and so accelerating the 
speed of the digestive process in the stomach." For obvious reasons 
(stated in these lectures) alcoholic drinks as used dietetically can never 
interfere with pancreatic digestion. 

Passing from the consideration of the influence of these ardent 
spirits on digestion to the more complex problem of the influence of 
such alcoholic beverages as the various wines and malt liquors, Sir 
W. Roberts arrives at the following conclusions : 

Even very small quantities of the stronger and lighter wines 
sherry, hock, claret, and port exercise a powerful retarding influence 



on salivary digestion. This is wholly due to the acid not the 
alcohol they contain, and if this acid be neutralized, as it often 
is in practice, by mixing with the wine some effervescent alkaline 
water, this disturbing effect on salivary digestion is completely re- 

The influence of acids in retarding or arresting salivary digestion 
is further of importance in the dietetic use of pickles, vinegar, salads, 
and acid fruits. 

In the case of vinegar it was found that 1 part in 5,000 sensibly 
retarded this process, a proportion of 1 in 1,000 rendered it very slow, 
and 1 in 500 arrested it completely ; so that when acid salads are 
taken together with bread the effect of the acid is to prevent any 
salivary digestion of the bread, a matter of little moment to a person 
with a vigorous digestion, but to a feeble dyspeptic one of some im- 

There is a very wide-spread belief that drinking vinegar is an effi- 
cacious means of avoiding getting fat, and this popular belief would 
appear from these experimental observations to be well-founded. If 
the vinegar be taken at the same time as farinaceous food, it will 
greatly interfere with its digestion and assimilation. 

As to malt liquors, provided they are sound and free from acidity, 
they interfere but litttle with salivary digestion ; if they are acid, it 
is otherwise. 

Effervescent table-waters, if they consist simply of pure water 
charged with carbonic acid, exercise a considerable retarding influence 
on salivary digestion ; but if they also contain alkaline carbonates, as 
most of the table-waters of commerce do, the presence of the alkali 
quite removes this retarding effect. 

" The use of these waters as an addition to wines is," Sir William 
Roberts observes, " highly commendable," as they " greatly mitigate 
or wholly obviate the retarding influence of these wines on the diges- 
tion of starch." 

It was also observed that these weaker forms of alcoholic drinks 
(wines and beer) differed greatly in their influence on peptic digestion 
to that of the distilled spirits. They retarded it altogether out of 
proportion to the quantity of alcohol they contained. Port and 
sherry exercised a great retarding effect. " Even in the proportion 
of twenty per cent sherry trebled the time in which digestion was 
completed." It should further be borne in mind that this wine also 
greatly retards salivary digestion. Sherry, then, is not a suitable wine 
for persons of feeble digestive powers. 

With hock, claret, and champagne it was also ascertained that 
their retarding effect on digestion was out of proportion to the alco- 
hol contained in them ; but champagne was found to have " a markedly 
less retarding effect than hock and claret " ; indeed, in the proportion 
of ten per cent champagne had a distinct, though slight, accelerating 


effect, and this superiority of champagne appears to be due to the 
"mechanical effects of its effervescent qualities." 

The quantity of claret and hock often consumed by many persons 
at meals must exercise a considerable retarding effect on peptic diges- 
tion ; but small quantities of these wines (and even of sherry) do not 
produce any appreciable retarding effect, but act as pure stimulants. 
These wines, then, may be taken with advantage, even by persons of 
feeble digestion, in small quantities, but not in large. 

With regard to malt liquors, it was observed, as with wines, that 
they retarded peptic digestion in a degree altogether out of propor- 
tion to the amount of alcohol contained in them, and when taken in 
large quantities they must greatly retard the digestion, especially of 
farinaceous food ; but a moderate quantity of light beer, when " well 
up," is favorable to stomach digestion. 

It was proved by these experiments that the sparkling wines 
impede digestion less than the still ones, and when taken in moderate 
quantity "act not only as stimulants to the secretion of gastric juice 
and to the muscular activity of the viscus, but may, at the same time, 
slightly accelerate the speed of the chemical process in the stomach." 

Next as to the influence of tea, coffee, and cocoa on the digestive 
processes : 

Tea exerts a powerful retarding influence on salivary digestion, 
coffee and cocoa a comparatively feeble one. 

Sir W. Roberts estimates the medium strength of the tea usually 
drunk at four to five per cent ; strong tea may contain as much as 
seven per cent, weak tea as little as two per cent. Medium coffee 
has a strength of about seven per cent, and strong coffee twelve to 
fifteen per cent ; cocoa, on the other hand, is generally weaker, not 
more than about two per cent, and this, he thinks, may be one reason 
why it is more suitable to persons with feeble digestions than tea or 

Tea exercises a powerful inhibitory effect on salivary digestion, 
and this appears to be entirely due to the large quantity of tannin it 

It appears that tannin exists in two conditions in the tea-leaf. One, the 
larger portion, is in the free state, and is easily extracted by hot water ; but 
about one fourth is fixed and remains undissolved in the fully exhausted tea- 
leaves. Some persons have supposed that by infusing tea for a very short time 
only two or three minutes the passing of tannin into the infusion icould be 
avoided. This is a delusion; you can no more have tea without tannin than 
you can have wine without alcohol. Tannin, in the free state, is one of the 
most soluble substances known. If you pour hot water on a little heap of tannin 
it dissolves like so much pounded sugar. Tea infused for two minutes was not 
found sensibly inferior in its retarding power on salivary digestion to tea infused 
for thirty minutes. 

One gentleman of my acquaintance (says Sir TV". Roberts) in his horror of 
tannin was in the habit of preparing his tea by placing the dry leaves on a paper 


filter and simply pouring on the boiling water. In this way he thought to evade 
the presence of tannin in his tea. But if you try the experiment, and allow the 
product, as it runs through the filter, to fall into a solution of perchloride of 
iron, you will find that an intense inky-black coloration is produced, showing 
that tannin has come through in abundance. 

In order to diminish as far as possible the retarding influence of 
tea on salivary digestion, it should be made weak and used sparingly, 
and it should not be taken icith but after the meal. 

There is another means, mentioned by Sir W. Roberts, of obviating 
the retarding effect of tea on salivary digestion, and commended by 
him to the dyspeptic : it is to add a pinch of bicarbonate of soda to 
the tea when it is being infused in the tea-pot. He found that ten 
grains of soda added to an ounce of dry tea almost entirely removed 
this retarding influence. The infusion thus made is darker than usual, 
but the flavor is not sensibly altered, nor is the infusion rendered alka- 
line, for tea infusion is naturally slightly acid, and the soda, in the 
proportion mentioned, only just neutralizes this acidity. 

Coffee, unless taken in very large quantity, has very little retarding 
effect on salivary digestion ; this is explained by the fact that the 
tannin of tea is replaced in coffee by a substance called caffeo-tannic 
acid. Cocoa resembles coffee, and has little or no effect on salivary 
digestion ; the use of coffee or cocoa is therefore preferable to that of 
tea for persons of feeble digestion. 

With respect to the influence of tea and coffee on stomach diges- 
tion, it was found that they both exercised a remarkable retarding 
effect. There was no appreciable difference in the two beverages if 
they were of equal strength ; but, as coffee is usually made of greater 
percentage strength than tea, its effect must ordinarily be greater. 
Cocoa also had much the same effect if used of the same strength as 
tea or coffee, but, when of the strength ordinarily employed, its effect 
was inconsiderable. Strong coffee cafe noir had a very powerful 
retarding effect, and persons of weak digestion should avoid the cus- 
tomary cup of " black coffee " after dinner. 

"I could not detect," says Sir W. Boberts, "any appreciable difference be- 
tween the effect of tea infused for two or three minutes and tea infused for fif- 
teen or thirty minutes. If you wish to minimize the retarding effects of tea in 
persons of weak digestion, you should give instructions that the beverage be 
made weak, or that it be used in sparing quantities." And he adds in a foot- 
note : "A good deal has been said of the injurious effects on gastric digestion of 
tannin contained in tea. I question whether the statements made with reference 
to this matter are worthy of attention. It has been alleged that meat-fiber is 
hardened by tea, and that the coats of the stomach are liable to be injured by 
this beverage. These views are entirely theoretical" (p. 48). 

Perhaps one of the most unexpected results of these experiments 
of Sir W. Roberts was the discovery that beef-tea had a powerful 
retarding effect on peptic digestion, as much so as that of a five per 


cent infusion of tea. Further researches appeared to show that this 
retarding effect of beef -tea was due to the salts of the organic acids 
contained in it. 

While on the subject of beef -tea, it will be novel and instructive 
to many to hear that 

there is a wide-spread misapprehension among the public in regard to the nutri- 
tive value of beef-tea. The notion prevails that the nourishing qualities of the 
meat pass into the decoction, and that the dry, hard remnant of meat-fiber which 
remains undissolved is exhausted of its nutritive properties ; and this latter is 
often thrown a way as useless. A deplorable amount of waste arises from the 
prevalence of this erroneous notion. The proteid matter of meat is quite insolu- 
ble in boiling water, or in water heated above 160 Fahr. The ingredients that 
pass into solution are the sapid extractives and salines of the meat, and nothing 
more except some trifling amount of gelatine. The meat remnant, on the other 
hand, contains the real nutriment of the meat, and if this be beaten to a paste 
with a spoon or pounded in a mortar and duly flavored with salt and other con- 
diments, it constitutes not only a highly nourishing and agreeable but also an 
exceedingly digestible form of food.* 

Beef -tea must therefore be looked upon rather as a stimulant and 
restorative than as a nutrient beverage, but it is nevertheless very valu- 
able on account of those properties. 

Sir W. Roberts puts forward an ingenious argument, which can not 
be fully repeated here, in favor of the view that, in healthy and strong 
persons, this retarding effect on digestion observed to be produced by 
many of the most commonly consumed food accessories answers a dis- 
tinctly useful end. They serve, he maintains, the purpose of whole- 
somely slowing the otherwise too rapid digestion and absorption of 
copious meals. 

A too rapid digestion and absorption of food may be compared to feeding a 
fire with straw instead of with slower-burning coal. In the former case it would 
be necessary to feed often and often, and the process would be wasteful of the 
fuel ; for the short-lived blaze would carry most of the heat up the chimney. To 
burn fuel economically, and to utilize the heat to the utmost, the fire must be 
damped down, so as to insure slow as well as complete combustion. So with 
human digestion : our highly prepared and highly cooked food requires, in the 
healthy and vigorous, that the digestive fires should be damped down, in order 
to insure the economical use of food. . . . "We render food by preparation as 
capable as possible of being completely exhausted of its nutrient properties; and, 
on the other hand, to prevent this nutrient matter from being wastefully hurried 
through the body, we make use of agents which abate the speed of digestion. 

It must be borne in mind that these remarks apply only to those 
who possess a healthy and active digestion. To the feeble and dys- 
peptic any food accessory which adds to the labor and prolongs the 
time of digestion must be prejudicial ; and it is a matter of com- 

* " These remarks on beef -tea apply equally to Liebig's extract of meat, Brand's es- 
sence of beef, and Valentine's me at- juice, all of which are devoid of albuminous constitu- 
ents " ("British Medical Journal," August, 1885). 


mon experience that beverages which in quantity retard digestion 
have to be avoided altogether by such persons or partaken of very 

In the dietetic use of wines the writer of this article has constantly 
had occasion to make the observation that those wines agree best and 
are most useful which are absorbed and eliminated from the system 
with the greatest rapidity, as tested by the increase of the renal secre- 
tions, and he has been led to the practical conclusion that this is the 
best criterion of the suitability of any particular wine to any particu- 
lar constitution. If the effect of different wines on notoriously gouty 
persons be carefully observed, it will be found that some can drink 
champagne (in moderation, of course) with impunity, especially if a 
small quantity of an effervescing alkaline water be added to it, while 
claret will at once provoke some manifestations of gout ; others, who 
are unable to drink champagne without provoking a gonty paroxysm, 
will often be able to drink a mature, fine, soft claret even with advan- 
tage ; others will support hock well, and a few can drink fine sherries 
and ports in small quantities ; but in all it will be found that the test 
of the suitability of the particular wine to the particular constitution 
is its susceptibility to rapid elimination and vice versa. 

It has occurred also to the writer to make many observations as 
to the circumstances under which tea and coffee are found to agree or 
disagree with different persons ; in the first place, as Sir W. Roberts 
has pointed out, tea, if taken at the same time as farinaceous food, is 
much more likely to retard its digestion and cause dyspepsia than if 
taken a little time after eating ; and the custom adopted by many 
persons at breakfast, for instance, of eating first and drinking their 
tea or coffee afterward is a sensible one ; so also it is better to take 
one's five-o'clock tea without the customary bread-and-butter or cake 
than with it. 

Indeed, while there is little that can be said against a cup of hot 
tea as a stimulant and restorative, when taken about midway between 
lunch and dinner, and without solid food, it may, on the other hand, 
be a fruitful cause of dyspepsia when accompanied at that time with 
solid food. It is also a curious fact that many persons with whom 
tea, under ordinary circumstances, will agree exceedingly well, will 
become the subjects of a tea dyspepsia if they drink this beverage at 
a time when they may be suffering from mental worry or emotional 

Moreover, it is a well-recognized fact that persons who are prone to 
nervous excitement of the circulation and palpitations of the heart 
have these symptoms greatly aggravated if they persist in the use of 
tea or coffee as a beverage. The excessive consumption of tea among 
the women of the poorer classes is the cause of much of the so-called 
" heart-complaints " among them : the food of those poor women 
consists largely of starchy substances (bread-and-butter chiefly), to- 


gether with tea, i. e., a food accessory which is one of the greatest of 
all retarders of the digestion of starchy food. 

The effect of coffee as a retarder of stomach digestion would prob- 
ably be more felt than it is were it not so constantly the practice to 
take it only in small quantity after a very large meal ; it is then 
mixed with an immense bulk of food, and its relative percentage pro- 
portion rendered insignificant ; and to the strong and vigorous the 
slightly retarding effect on digestion it would then have may be, as 
Sir W. Roberts suggests, not altogether a disadvantage ; but after a 
spare meal and in persons of feeble digestive power the cup of black 
coffee would probably exercise a retarding effect on digestion which 
might prove harmful. It is also worthy of remark that in the great 
coffee-drinking countries this beverage is made not nearly so strong as 
with us. In this country good coffee always means strong, often very 
strong coffee ; but on the Continent they possess the faculty of mak- 
ing good coffee which is not necessarily very strong coffee, and which 
is, therefore, as a beverage, less likely to do harm. 

The general conclusion to be drawn from these highly interesting 
and instructive researches is that most of the " food accessories " which 
in the course of civilization man has added to his diet are, when taken 
in moderation, beneficial to him, and conduce to his physical welfare 
and material happiness ; but if taken in excess they may interfere to a 
serious and harmful degree with the processes of digestion and assimi- 
lation. It is also made clear that dietetic habits which may prove 
agreeable and useful to those who enjoy vigorous health and a strong 
digestion need to be greatly modified in the case of those who are 
feeble and dyspeptic. Nineteenth Century. 



~TT"NDOUBTEDLY one of the greatest achievements of modern 
vJ days is the introduction of the exceedingly sensitive dry-plate in 
photography. By it one is enabled to picture the lightning's flash, the 
trotting horse, the surging wave, and the foliage swayed by the breeze. 
It is not to be foreseen what manifold applications this new method 
will eventually find in the natural sciences. Here we will consider 
only one of its numerous applications, namely, its use in photograph- 
ing the starlit heavens. 

Whoever has tried to form an idea of the number of stars, visible 
to the naked eye on a clear winter's night, almost invariably overesti- 
mates them. The layman declares he sees a hundred thousand, ay, a 
million stars. Such estimates, however, far exceed the truth, and, if 
anything is certain, it is the fact that the number of stars to be seen 


with the naked eye is very small. All stars discernible by the keenest of 
human sight,* without the aid of a telescope, have long been noted down 
on charts, and their position in the vaulted dome exactly determined. 

Should one count up all the stars in those parts of the heavens that 
become visible to us in the course of a year, even this sum would not 
by far approach seven thousand. However, if one resorts 
to a telescope, matters grow to be quite different ; more 
and more stars then become visible, the number depend- 
ing on the strength of the instrument in use. Fig. 1 rep- 
resents a certain portion of the heavens as seen by the 
fig. i. unaided eye. One discerns two brighter stars and several 

smaller ones. Fig. 2 shows this same spot, but as seen through a pow- 
erful telescope. This picture has not merely been drawn from fancy. 
Each point, even the smallest, was, after close observation, entered 
with the utmost care on a large chart, of which this illustration 

Fig. 2. 

is a copy, but reduced in size. And each single one of these 
stars is a mighty body, in its sphere a shining sun, equaling ours 
in grandeur and splendor. From the beginning, each of these suns 
has traveled its prescribed round, and has filled its place in the vast 
universe. Such charts of the stars are leaves from the great volume of 


the history of the universe, a work which astronomy teaches us to read. 
On one of these pages, that has already been in part deciphered, is re- 
corded the destiny of our planet. 

It is, then, not surprising that astronomers seek to gain possession 
of as many reliable copies of such leaves from this history as possible ; 
in other words, seek to own as exact and extensive star-maps as will 
include the very smallest luminous points in the heavens. What un- 
told work the compiling of such charts entails may well be imagined ; 
indeed, this is a task which is almost beyond human power. The chart 
from which the above picture is a copy was compiled at the observa- 
tory at Paris, and work at the same has already been continued for 
many decades. For years past, the two brothers, Paul and Prosper 
Henry, have been engaged in this exacting undertaking ; but, notwith- 
standing the great experience which they in the course of time had 
gathered, their task almost came to a sudden end in the year 1884. 
At that time, while pursuing their observations, they came to that 
region of the heavens traversed by the milky-way. As is well known, 
the mild, lambent light of the milky- way is caused by a conglomera- 
tion of countless millions of stars placed behind one another to endless 
depths. To reproduce these millions of stars on charts proved to be 
utterly impossible. 

The two observers then summoned the art of photography, re- 
cently so much improved, to their aid. Naturally they could not make 
use of the ordinary apparatus of the photographer ; indeed, they 
were obliged to build a special telescope for their purpose. By means 
of clock-work, they succeeded in imparting to this a movement so 
prescribed and so regulated that the stars, though continuing in their 
unbroken course in the heavens, yet retain a stationary position with 
reference to the photographic plate. After many painstaking experi- 
ments, the enterprise was successful beyond expectation. Even the 
faintest of stars were plainly discernible on the plate, and in this man- 
ner more was accomplished in one hour than could be done by the old 
method of inscribing each star in many months. 

These results incited to further progress. A new and very large 
telescope was constructed and directed toward the starry heavens. The 
plate now showed stars of the fifteenth magnitude, i. e., those whose 
light is so faint that only very few telescopes in all Europe can render 
them perceptible. In order to obtain this result, the plate, notwith- 
standing its extreme sensitiveness, had to be exposed to the light of 
these stars for fully an hour. If one were to carefully examine such a 
plate, or rather a cliche made therefrom, doubts might perhaps arise as 
to whether some of the little points thereon might not have been occa- 
sioned by particles accidentally present on the original plate. Such 
doubts might well be entertained, but Messrs. Henry have succeeded 
in meeting them in a most ingenious manner. After having exposed 
the plate for an hour, they shifted its position a trace to the right, and 


again exposed it for the same length of time. After this they lowered 
the plate wirfa the telescope to the same extent as they had before 
shifted its position, and then, for a third time, exposed for an hour. If, 
after this, the original were to be examined with a microscope, it would 
be seen that each little star is really composed of three points, which 
form a small triangle. Thus any doubt is dispelled that might have 
been entertained as to whether an accidental blur had been pictured. 

The advantage in preparing representations of the heavens by 
means of photography rests not only on the fact that by this means 
charts of the stars can be obtained much more readily than was the 
case when each star had to be separately noted, but the pictures thus 
obtained also seem to be absolutely correct ; they contain no faulty 
entries, no mistakes. Even the most attentive observer is liable to 
error ; he may overlook one or more stars, he may make a wrong 
entry, etc. All of these risks are not to be feared in employing a pho- 
tographic plate ; it is like a retina that sees everything as it is ! This 
advantage can not be sufficiently appreciated, for it enables us to leave 
to coming generations an absolutely true and entirely correct picture 
of the starry heavens of to-day. The director of the observatory at 
Paris has for this reason suggested the obtaining of a complete pho- 
tographic picture of the entire heavens by the systematic co-operation 
of different observatories in the northern and southern hemispheres. 
This is, indeed, a grand project ; and to see it realized would, at all 
events, require a period of from eight to ten years but what exceed- 
ingly important results would ensue from this ! 

With such charts from different times at his disposal, and equipped 
with a microscope and a micrometric apparatus to carry out his meas- 
urements, the investigator of the future will be enabled to make in his 
study astronomical discoveries that have hitherto escaped direct obser- 
vation by the telescopes of the observatory. In his study he will be 
able to prove whether any, and, if so, which stars have changed their 
position in the heavens, whether among the countless number of the 
faintest little stars in the milky-way new ones have arisen, or old 
ones disappeared in short, with the aid of such charts there opens 
to the mind a vista of research and discovery that seems well-nigh 

How much may be escaping astronomical science of to-day, simply 
because the eye of mortal explorer chances not to alight on that very 
point in the depths of the heavens where just then a most important 
event is taking place ! 

In future this will be different. Photographed charts of the heav- 
ens give an exact likeness of the appearance of the celestial dome at 
the time of their taking, and these may be examined and studied at 
any place and at any time, by day and by night. The most remote 
planet that revolves around the sun, known of to-day, is Neptune ; 
yet it seems most probable that beyond this, one or even more plan- 


ets are existing. As, however, they move but very slowly, and at the 
same time emit but little light, it has not yet been possible to dis- 
cern them among the millions of little fixed stars. But, when once 
the entire heaven s, even to the very smallest of visible stars, shall have 
been photographed, and if this work be repeated after a period of 
about ten years, the charts thus obtained will solve the problem as to 
the most remote planets, and the latter must be found. Ay even 
more. The photographic plate is superior to the observant eye, in 
perceiving and reproducing the smallest stars, inasmuch as it shows 
objects in those places in the heavens where, with the most powerful 
telescopes, nothing more is to be seen. 

In this connection the brothers Henry have recently made a most 
singular discovery. On the 16th of November they directed their 
large photographic telescope to that spot in the heavens where the star 
Maja is in the Pleiades, and afterward found on their plate, besides 
numerous stars, a spiral, nebulous spot, which, to a certain extent, 
seemed to come from the star Maja. As, even with the greatest tele- 
scopes of the observatory at Paris, no signs of such vapor could be 
perceived in that particular part of the heavens, a new photograph 
was taken on the 8th of December ; this also showed the vapor, and a 
third picture, obtained the following day, once more bespoke its pres- 

There can, then, be no doubt as to the existence of a spiral-like 
nebulous spot in the vicinity of that star, but of which the eye, even 
with the aid of a most powerful telescope, can perceive naught. What 
wonderful prospects for the future here open to view ! A veritable 
astronomy of the invisible begins. Celestial orbs, ever veiled from 
our direct gaze, are rendered perceptible ay, trace their own picture. 
Therein lies the highest triumph of the human mind, that it is able, in 
the true sense of the word, to force Nature to reveal her secrets ; that 
a ray of light, called into being in the most remote depths of space, 
created at a time ere perhaps the foot of man had ever trodden the 
earth, should to-day itself trace on a plate the outline and the form of 
that orb from which it emanated myriads of years ago. Translated 
for the Popular Science Monthly from Die Gartenlaube. 




WHATEVER may be our individual views or prejudices in rela- 
tion to the use and abuse of alcoholic liquors, the process of 
their manufacture is a very interesting chemical operation. Proof- 
spirit is defined by the United States internal revenue laws to be that 
mixture of alcohol and water which contains one half of its volume of 


absolute alcohol and 53*71 parts of. water. When the alcohol and 
water are mixed together while combining contraction in volume 
takes place to the extent of 3*71 parts, resulting in 100 parts of proof- 
spirit. The law declares that the duties on all spirits shall be levied ac- 
cording to their equivalent in proof -spirits. The hydrometers adopted 
by the Government for the purpose of testing the degree of strength 
are graded and marked (0) for water, (100) for proof-spirit, and 
(200) for absolute alcohol, at a standard temperature of 60 Fahr. 

Alcoholic liquors can be made from any substance that contains 
saccharine matter already formed by Nature, or from any substance 
that contains the constituent elements that can be converted by some 
artificial process into the saccharine principle. In the United States 
they are generally produced from corn, rye, wheat, barley, rice, mo- 
lasses, apples, grapes, and peaches ; sometimes from potatoes and beets. 
Vinous fermentation converts sugar, glucose, or saccharine matter into 
alcohol and carbonic-acid gas ; the latter passing off into the atmos- 

In order to bring about vinous or alcoholic fermentation five agents 
are indispensable, viz., saccharine matter, water, heat, a ferment, and 
atmospheric air. Sugar or saccharine matter in its various forms is 
the only element from which alcohol can be produced ; the others are 
mere auxiliaries to the decomposition. 

By establishing the quantity in volumes of the elements of sugar 
and alcohol, as indicated by the following tabulated statements, and 
by comparing the constituent elements of the two articles, so dissimi- 
lar in appearance, the fact of their slight difference would be incredible 
were it not established by science : 


Vapor of carbon . . 3 

Hydrogen 3 

Oxygen 1 


Vapor of carbon 2 

Hydrogen : 3 



Take one volume of vapor of carbon and one of oxygen from sugar, 
which is accomplished by vinous fermentation and distillation, and 
you have alcohol. 

In order to obtain the best results, the process of scalding the va- 
rious kinds of grain used and making the yeast requires very skillful 
management ; so much so that the largest distillers employ a profes- 
sional and practical chemist to look after the scientific part of the busi- 
ness. The quantity and power of the yeast, in proportion to the quan- 
tity of saccharine matter in the mash, must be properly balanced, or in 
one case the fermentation will be too rapid, developing excessive heat, 
and consequently a loss of alcoholic vapor passing off with the car- 
bonic-acid gas, also inducing acetic fermentation, which, under certain 
conditions, is a destroyer of alcohol ; or, in the other case, if the yeast 
is too weak, so that it will not convert all the saccharine matter into 


alcohol, there will be a waste of material, and consequently a pecun- 
iary loss to the manufacturer. 

Can pure unadulterated alcoholic liquors be now obtained ? This 
is a question frequently asked with a doubtful accent. I answer yes, as 
pure as were ever made, which assertion I will substantiate by giving 
a description of their manufacture. And as whisky is one of the 
most common liquors, it may be taken as an example. Malt is an 
almost indispensable article in connection with whisky-distilling, and 
is usually made of rye or barley. The grain is soaked in water until 
it begins to swell ; it is then placed in a pile on the malting-floor, 
where it remains until heat is generated and saccharine fermentation 
takes place, causing the grain to germinate or sprout, and developing 
the saccharine matter and a peculiar ferment called diastase, which is 
the main object in the process of malting. When the process of 
germination has arrived at the point desired, the grain is spread over 
the floor to dry, for the purpose of suspending further fermentation ; 
when dry, the grain is very sweet and brittle, easily ground, and is 
known to commerce as rye and barley malt. 

The best distillers are very particular about the quality of grain 
they use, buying only the best in market. The proportions of each 
kind of grain used vary according to the particular brand of whisky 
desired. The usual proportions of grain are, two thirds corn and one 
third rye and malt. The corn is ground into a fine granulated meal, 
the rye to a medium fineness, and the malt is coarsely ground. The 
meal is all weighed, scalded, and mashed under the supervision of the 
United States internal revenue storekeeper. The corn-meal, being 
more difficult to scald than rye and malt, is first put into a mash-tub 
containing a proper quantity of hot water, and while the mash is being 
vigorously stirred with a revolving rake driven by steam or water- 
power, the temperature is raised to about 170 Fahr. This operation 
scalds the corn-meal and develops the starch ; after remaining at this 
temperature for the proper length of time, cold water is added to re- 
duce the temperature to about 150 Fahr., the rye and malt are then 
added, and the whole mass is continually stirred until the scalding is 
complete, and the starch is developed and converted into dextrine, and 
then into saccharine matter by the potency of the diastase contained in 
the malt. It is then cooled down as quickly as possible, in order to 
avoid viscous fermentation, by the addition of cold water and ice, to 
about 80 Fahr., and drawn off into a fermenting vat, and the yeast 
which has been previously prepared is added. 

The fermenting period varies from forty-eight to seventy-two 
hours, according to the kind of yeast used. By testing the density 
and temperature of the mash at the time of setting, and on the com- 
pletion of fermentation, with the aid of a saccharometer and thermom- 
eter, a close approximation can be obtained of the quantity of proof- 
spirit contained in the beer by which name the mash is called after 


fermentation ; the greater the attenuation of the beer, as shown by 
the saccharometer, the greater the quantity of spirit. 

Fermentation being completed, where the ordinary copper stills 
are used, the beer is run into one still and is boiled ; the alcohol in the 
beer, being more volatile than water, rises, combined with more or less 
water, and passes through a copper coil or worm submerged in a cis- 
tern of water into which a continuous stream of cold water is running ; 
at the top of this cistern is an overflow-pipe conveying the heated 
water off as it rises. This operation condenses the vapor in the worm, 
and the spirit flows out colorless ; as all spirits, whether made from 
grain, fruit, or vegetables, flowing from the still-worm, have the ap- 
pearance of water. 

The product of this first distillation is called low-wine, from the 
fact that it is not of sufficient strength and purity to put upon the 
market. The boiling is continued until all the alcohol in the beer is 
evaporated and condensed ; then the refuse is drawn off from the still 
and fed to cattle and hogs. The low-wine is then run into still No. 2, 
called the doubler, and boiled again. The product from the doubler 
will be whisky varying from 100 to 150 in strength. 

When the three-chambered wooden still or column is used, and 
the beer is boiled by steam, spirits are produced of marketable strength 
at each run of the still. 

Under the internal revenue laws the distillers of grain and molasses 
can have no access to the spirits during the process of their manufact- 
ure, as the spirits are conveyed from the still in continuously closed 
pipes to large cisterns in a room with only one entrance, upon which 
is a Government lock, of the key of which the United States gauger is 
the custodian, until the spirits have been drawn off into barrels, and 
he has gauged the quantity and tested their degree of strength by the 
aid of a hydrometer and thermometer, placed a warehouse stamp on 
each package, and marked on each the capacity, quantity, and degree 
of strength of the contents. 

The gauger is, fortunately, not required to taste of the spirits to 
test their quality, as quality is not taken into consideration in levying 
the tax. After the gauger has completed his duties, the United States 
storekeeper takes charge of the spirits and sees that all of the pack- 
ages are safely deposited in the distillery bonded warehouse, where 
they remain under a Government lock the key of which is in the 
care of the storekeeper until the tax is paid. 

The limit of time that spirits can remain in bond, by the present 
revenue law, is three years. Congress was petitioned at the last two 
sessions, by parties interested in distilling, for an extension of the 
bonded period, but the petition was, I think, unwisely denied. 

It would be a blessing to the whole country if Congress would pass 
a law embodying the substance of the three following items : 1. Grant- 
ing unlimited time for spirits to remain in bond, in order to give all 


the time for improving the spirits desired before payment of the tax. 
2. Prohibiting the withdrawal of alcoholic liquors from bond until 
they have been in the warehouse at least twelve months ; for the rea- 
son that new spirits, although they may be pure, are not fit for internal 
use, and should not be placed upon the market for sale until their con- 
stituent elements are thoroughly combined by age. 3. Prohibiting (if 
it can be done constitutionally) the mixing or compounding different 
kinds of alcoholic liquors, particularly those made from grain with 
those made from fruit, or the adulteration of the same by the addition 
of any deleterious or injurious substances. Heavy penalties to follow 
every violation and conviction. 

Various contrivances have been adopted, both in this and foreign 
countries, for the purpose of producing a kind of artificial age, and 
various compounds have been used to accomplish the desired result, 
and to a certain extent have been successful in deceiving the novice or 
uninitiated ; but, on the whole, you might as well try to put a mature 
brain, developed in all its manly proportions, upon the shoulders of a 
youth, as to try to make new spirits old, minus the element of time, 
and the necessary accompanying environments. 

A company in Boston, Massachusetts, claim to purchase the oldest 
liquors they can find in distillery bonded warehouses (three years old), 
and to purify and increase their mellowness by forcing warm air 
through them, thereby oxidizing the fusel-oil (or heavier alcohols), 
and expelling into the open air the light, poisonous ethers, leaving the 
liquors free from the aldehydes which stupefy and destroy the brain- 
tissues. The air is first passed through a chemical solution (Professor 
Tyndall's well-known method), which deodorizes as well as destroys all 
germs of animal or vegetable origin ; and after being thus treated, 
analysis shows it to be pure atmospheric air, 79 parts nitrogen, and 21 
parts oxygen. This purified air is then heated to a certain temper- 
ature, and, with the aid of a pump, forced through pipes with almost 
infinitesimal perforations, so as to bring the greatest amount of sur- 
face of air in contact with the greatest amount of surface of liquor in 
the shortest space of time, warming the liquors and producing a vio- 
lent agitation, which process, undoubtedly, accelerates the union and 
assimilation of the constituent elements, and, they also claim, elimi- 
nates the poisonous gases. The liquors are then filtered by the best- 
known methods to free them from any remaining debris. 

But to return to the distillery : you will see that the processes 
which the grain has gone through of mashing, fermenting, and the ex- 
traction of the spirits from the beer by distillation, and the placing of 
the completed product in the distillery bonded warehouse, are all done 
under the supervision of a Government officer, and thus far the distiller 
has had no opportunity, even if he had any desire, to adulterate the 
liquor. Any distiller who wishes to establish a reputation for manu- 
facturing a fine article, is as much interested in keeping his liquor 


pure as any person is who wishes to purchase and properly use a pure 

After the internal revenue tax has been paid, and the tax-paid 
stamps properly placed upon the packages, the spirits are withdrawn 
from bond ; each package having two stamps upon it a warehouse 
and a tax-paid stamp and when put upon the market in this condition 
they are known as two-stamp goods ; but the best distillers, instead of 
selling their goods directly from the bonded warehouse if they have 
not been filtered and refined during the process of their manufact- 
ure transfer them to the rectifying-house for rectification ; the object 
of which is to remove any pernicious substances or impurities, such as 
the grosser properties of the essential oils, or fusel, and acetic acid, 
and to improve the quality and flavor of the spirits. It is the essential 
oils extracted from the various materials used that impart the peculiar 
distinguishing characteristics to each kind of liquor. The alcoholic 
property is virtually the same in all spirituous liquors. 

The process of rectification is generally done by redistilling, and 
filtering through alternate layers of woolen blankets, sand, and granu- 
lated bone or maple charcoal other complicated mechanical arrange- 
ments are sometimes used, called rectifiers, but they are not common 
after which process, a little burned sugar is added to give them a kind 
of straw-color, simply, I presume, to distinguish them from water, and 
which gives the appearance of age without improving or injuring their 
quality. After rectification, the spirits are gauged by the United States 
gauger, and a rectifier's stamp is placed upon each package, and the 
whisky is then ready for the market, pure and unadulterated, and, 
known as one-stamp goods. Remember that I am now stating how 
good whisky is made ; all whisky is not made with the same degree 
of care. Some people are under the impression that if they buy two- 
stamp goods they are certainly getting a pure article, but that is not 
always the case, unless the whisky has been properly rectified during 
the process of manufacture. 

There is a vast difference between rectification proper and mixing 
or compounding. Rectification, in its proper sense, is purifying and 
refining. Compounding is diabolizing. Moral : Purchase from first 
hands, if possible. 

By this, I do not mean to insinuate that all dealers in liquor are 
unscrupulous ; for, paradoxical as it may appear to some minds, there 
are many very generous, noble-hearted, upright men engaged in the 
liquor-traffic ; but the demand for cheap liquor is so great that some 
men can not resist the temptation to mix or compound, in order to 
supply this demand, and some of them feel that they are compelled to 
do it against their will in order to hold their customers ; and this 
practice will continue until the strong arm of a righteous law is placed 
upon it a law that every honest distiller and liquor-dealer will cor- 
dially approve. 


Therefore, if you want a pure article, purchase from a distiller or 
first-class, reliable dealer ; and, by the term first class, I do not mean 
the man who has the largest and most attractive place of business, 
and the most capital invested, but the man who is known for his in- 
tegrity and truthfulness of character. Insist that the spirits must 
be at least twelve months old, and also be willing to pay a fair price 
for them. There is no more exception to the rule in the liquor 
business than in any other, that, if you want something of value, you 
muse expect to pay value for it. 

At some distilleries, the spirits pass through a process of filtering 
between the worm and cistern-room, which extracts the impure foreign 
matter that is unavoidably forced up from the still with the vapor of 
spirits. When this purifying process is skillfully and carefully done, 
there is no absolute necessity for the further manipulation or rectifica- 
tion of the spirits, and the only element then required to make the 
spirits fit for medicinal purposes is time, and the longer the time the 
better. If kept in wooden packages the spirits will improve and ac- 
quire a slight color by age. Coloring-matter is not allowed by the 
Government to be put in the spirits when this filtering process is done 
at the distillery. 

Alcoholic liquors should not be offered for sale until they have been 
filtered or properly rectified, either during the process of manufact- 
ure, or after they have been withdrawn from the distillery bonded 
warehouse. The best distillers never let their goods go on the market 
until they have themselves put the whisky through a process of recti- 
fication, or refining ; and woe be to the man who dares to change its 
character in the original package bearing their brand, if they find 
sufficient evidence against him ! 

Rye-whisky is made from rye and malt, without corn, but experts 
say that it requires much longer time to mature, and become ripe and 
smooth, than does Bourbon whisky, which is made from corn, rye, and 
malt. Gin is made from the same materials and in the same manner 
as whisky, with one addition : juniper-berries are boiled in the last dis- 
tillation, imparting their peculiar flavor. 

There are two objections to straight (unmixed) American gin : 
First, it is usually sold when new, because the dealer can buy it 
cheaper and make a larger margin upon it than he can on the old arti- 
cle. Second, straight American gin is not filtered and relieved of for- 
eign and impure matters, but is sold with them in, obnoxious as they 
are, depending upon the juniper flavor to conceal their presence. 

Rum is made from molasses, diluted with water, and a ferment 
added ; after fermentation it is distilled in the same manner as whis- 
ky and gin. 

Brandy is made from apples, grapes, peaches, and other fruits, 
generally from the expressed juice, but occasionally from the pomace 
or crushed fruit after fermentation. Fruits possess by nature an 



azotized albuminous substance which produces spontaneous vinous fer- 
mentation, so that artificial yeasts or ferments are unnecessary. About 
fifty per cent more brandy can be made from ripe than from green 
fruit, and late fruit will produce much more brandy than early fruit. 
Brandy-distillers ought to devote more attention to filtration than they 
are in the habit of doing ; it is a moral obligation which they owe 
to society. 

Some people are so credulous that they believe all imported liquors 
are pure and perfectly straight. By paying a very high price, pure 
imported liquors can be obtained, but the superiority of the best arti- 
cle consists mainly in great age. Some imported liquors are mixed, 
compounded, and artificially flavored before shipment to this country, 
and are again mixed with so-called pure spirit after their arrival here. 
Trois-six French spirit, when originally produced, was the pure spirit 
of grape-wine ; now it is mainly manufactured from potatoes and the 
cereals, and forms the basis of many of the liquors imported into this 
country under the brand of French brandies and wines, and sold to a 
credulous public as the product of the pure juice of the grape. 

The duty on imported liquors is two dollars per proof-gallon, and 
on imported wines fifty cents per wine-gallon, while the United States 
internal revenue tax is only ninety cents per proof-gallon on domestic 
spirits, and none on domestic wines. People can judge for themselves 
whether the imported article is worth the difference in price. 

Chemists, in their analysis of anhydrous, absolute, or pure alcohol 
(200), do not exactly agree in their results. However, there is only a 
slight variation from the following statement in the proportions of 
the three constituent elements : 

Carbon 52-32 

Oxygen 34*38 

Hydrogen 13-30 


Alcohol showing the foregoing analysis acts as a caustic on the living 
tissues of the body, and by injection into the veins it causes sudden 
death by coagulating the blood. By introduction into the stomach it 
generally causes death. 

Commercial alcohol is principally made from Indian corn, and gen- 
erally indicates twelve degrees less in strength, being 188, than the 
preceding analysis. This commercial alcohol is reduced to any degree 
desired by the addition of water, and known to the trade as French, 
pure, cologne, or neutral spirits, while in fact it is nothing but dilute 

This spirit forms the bulk of nearly all the low-priced alcoholic 
liquors, whether called rum, gin, whisky, domestic or foreign brandies, 
that are placed upon the market, and this neutral corn-spirit enters 
largely into many of the better brands. Some wholesale liquor-deal- 


ers and compounders state that liquors made from pure cologne or 
neutral spirits are the purest liquors that can be found. That may be 
true ; also, sulphuric acid and aqua-fortis may and presumably are 
pure, but they are, nevertheless, dangerous and deadly poisons. 

This neutral spirit has been robbed of all its native richness and 
reduced to a skeleton of extreme poverty by eliminating its natural 
oils and leaving it with a harsh, cutting, penetrating nature, and when 
taken internally it produces the worst effects upon the tissues. The 
natural oils in the materials from which alcoholic liquors are produced 
are the oils that have the greatest natural affinity for that particular 
kind of liquor, and if permitted to remain where they belong, when 
taken into the stomach in a refined condition, properly combined and 
assimilated, are bland and sedative in their effects, and any spirit that 
has been deprived of them is not fit to enter the human stomach. 




AMONG the most curious apparent inconsistencies of human na- 
ture is the possibly complete independence of the productive 
and the conservative states of mind. It seems as if the talent for pro- 
ducing things often led, of itself, to a carelessness about their preser- 
vation, perhaps from a feeling that it is easy to replace what may 
happen to be deteriorated. The most conspicuous instance of this 
temper is that of Turner, among artists. He was the most productive 
of painters and the most accumulative, liking to keep his own works 
about him much more than painters generally do ; and yet at the same 
time he does not appear to have given a thought to the preservation of 
the works he so greatly valued. His pictures were carelessly kept in 
a gallery that was never repaired ; his drawings were never arranged 
till Mr. Ruskin arranged them six years after Turner's death, and it 
cost Mr. Ruskin a whole autumn and winter (1857), with the help of 
two assistants, working " every day, all day long, and often far into 
the night," to convert the Turnerian mess of confusion into order. 

Had it been confusion or disorder simply, the evil would have been 
completely remediable by careful labor ; but unfortunately the same 
carelessness that led to disorder involved carelessness about preserva- 
tion. Many of the drawings were eaten away by damp and mildew, 
"and falling into dust at the edges, in capes and bays of fragile de- 
cay." Others were worm-eaten, some were mouse-eaten, "many torn 
half-way through." Turner's way of keeping his drawings was to 
roll them up in bundles and cram them into drawers. The rolled 
bundles do not even appear to have been protected by paper closed at 
the end against dust, and the squeezing seems to have flattened them ; 


for Mr. Ruskin tells us that " dust of thirty years' accumulation, black, 
dense, and sooty, lay in the rents of the crushed and crumpled edges 
of these flattened bundles." There were also numbers of pocket 
sketching-books "dropping to pieces at the back, tearing laterally 
whenever opened, and every drawing rubbing itself into the one oppo- 

What strikes us most in this disorder is not so much the deteriora- 
tion of the sketches and drawings, which Turner possibly may not 
have foreseen, as the intolerable inconvenience of a system that must 
have made reference so difficult for the artist himself as to be always 
tedious and often impossible. A collection of studies should always 
be so arranged that any study whatever, even down to the most tri- 
fling memorandum, may be found at a moment's notice. The care of 
an artist's collection of studies is not, however, the subject of the 
present paper, which is addressed rather to the lay possessors of works 
of art than to professional artists. 

Turner's way of keeping his drawings is a model of everything 
that the collector ought to avoid. Nobody but an artist would think 
of keeping drawings rolled up in bundles, for the simple reason that 
you can never see a drawing properly unless it lies flat. Then we 
learn that Turner exposed his collection to every one of the enemies 
that a prudent keeper provides against. These enemies are damp, 
dust, and vermin. In the case of water-color and oil pictures there 
are two other foes, light and darkness, a water-color being liable to 
fade in the light, and an oil-picture to turn yellow for the want of it. 

Damp and mildew are often spoken of as two enemies, but in fact 
they are only one, as mildew is a fungus or collection of fungi thriv- 
ing only in damp situations.* Damp, as everybody knows, is retained 
moisture, or, in other words, water diffused in minute particles that 
are held by some other substance so as to be prevented from joining 
each other and flowing away, while they do not get access to the air 
so as to be carried off by evaporation. Some substances are extremely 
favorable to the retention of damp, and it so happens that the mill- 
board commonly employed by framers to put behind prints, and by 
book-binders who make portfolios, is one of those substances which ab- 
sorb and retain damp with particular facility. It is employed by cop- 
per-plate printers to dry impressions, which are placed between sheets 
of mill-board under pressure, the boards soon drinking up the water 
contained in the wetted paper. The ingenuity of framers has led 
them to select this (of all substances in the world) to put behind 
engravings that are hung up on walls ; and, when the walls happen to 
be damp, it follows as a matter of course that the engravings are 
spoiled by mildew or rust-spot. If the reader has ever lived in a 

* So far as I know. My experience of mildew has been chiefly with prints and the 
sails of boats, which require almost as much care as prints, and in these cases mildew has 
always required damp as a condition of its existence. 


house that is even moderately damp, he can hardly have failed to no- 
tice that the boards behind framed engravings swell and bulge out, 
which is the result of an increase in the bulk and area of the boards 
exactly proportionate to the quantity of water they have absorbed. 
When there is a sufficient supply of water certain fungoid growths 
will begin on the surface of the print under the glass, exactly like the 
growth of plants from the damp earth in a garden or conservatory. 
If there is iron in the paper here and there (which often happens), 
there will be spots of oxide of iron, or what we call rust, to give a 
pleasing variety of color, and if one of them happens to occur on a 
face, it must of course add greatly to its charm. Wooden backings 
are safer ; and I have seen a room where the engravings with mill- 
board behind them were all more or less spoiled by damp, while a 
large engraving with a thick wooden backing was entirely uninjured. 
Nevertheless, I would rather not trust to deal boards, as it is well 
known that deal is very absorbent of moisture. I remember having a 
heavy block of deal dead-wood removed from the hull of a boat, and 
when it was sawed through the water oozed freely out of every fiber. 
Had it been submitted to a powerful pressure, such as that from a hy- 
draulic press, there can be no doubt that it would have been like 
squeezing a wetted sponge. 

The necessity for careful precaution about the backing of framed 
engravings is not simply due to the permeability of walls that let the 
damp come through them ; it may be also due to mere condensation 
on the inner surface of the wall even when it is well built and im- 
permeable. This is best seen on a painted wall, as papers can absorb 
a great deal of water without letting it be immediately visible. In a 
very cold winter the external walls of a house become chilled through- 
out their mass, and when they are painted on the inside a sudden rise 
in temperature will produce visible condensation from the damp air, 
because the wall has not yet had time to raise its own temperature to 
that of the atmosphere. If there are engravings against the wall, they 
will suffer as much as if the wall itself were damp throughout its sub- 
stance ; for if the backings are absorbent they will drink in a quantity 
of moisture from the streaming wall-surface, which they will after- 
ward slowly give off to the engraving for the encouragement of fungi 
and rust-spots. If oil-pictures are hung against a wall of this kind, 
the canvas will absorb moisture (unless certain precautions are taken, 
of which we may give an account presently), and then the increase in 
its bulk and area will cause it to hang loosely on the stretching- 
frames. The only way to combat condensation is by heating the air 
sufficiently to warm the walls themselves, when, of course, it must 
cease. Nature herself puts an end to it ultimately in the same way if 
the mild weather continues, but more slowly, as it takes some time to 
raise the temperature of a mass of stone by a gentle increase of heat. 
A thin inner wall, or wainscot separated by a little space from the 


outer wall, may prevent condensation, because the thin partition, hav- 
ing little substance, rises easily in temperature. It would be quite 
worth while, in a house where valuable works of art are hung, to have 
thin inner walls with a circulation of warmed air between them and 
the thick external wall of- the building. Tapestry is a very effective 
remedy against visible condensation, as it absorbs a great quantity of 
water, which it afterward gives off slowly into the atmosphere, and it 
may prevent or greatly diminish real condensation by being more 
easily warmed than a mass of stone can be. 

The evil of injury from damp ought, however, to be combated as 
much as possible in the framing of the pictures and prints themselves. 
I will begin with prints because they are more common, so that the 
preservation of them concerns a greater number of my readers. In 
the first place, I would never trust to a backing of mill-board or paste- 
board. A print may appear to be safe with such a backing for years, 
and then there may be a damper winter than usual, or you may go 
and live in a damper house, or you may be absent, and the house may 
not be heated with sufficient regularity, with the result of unexpected 
injury to your print. Why not make it safe from the beginning? It 
is easy to do this, so that the print may be hung on a damp wall with- 
out danger. Instead of mill-board put sheet-zinc for a backing. It 
need not be thick, and you can always get a piece of sheet-zinc as big 
as the largest print. By way of completing precautions I am careful 
to expel any moisture there may be in the print itself by heating it 
well over a spirit-lamp before inclosing it between the zinc and the 
glass, and instead of ordinary paste for the slips of paper that join 
the glass to the inside of the frame and the backing to the back of the 
frame I employ a strong solution of gum-lac in spirits of wine, which 
is impervious to moisture. The print is thus inclosed in a little space 
that is not only water-tight, but even air-tight as well, so that damp 
air can not get to it. I have tried the experiment of hanging prints 
so framed against the dampest walls that I could find, and they have 
passed more than one wet winter in perfect safety, while prints framed 
in the usual manner, with mill-board backings, were soon spoiled by 
mildew and rust-spots when hung upon the same walls. All that has 
just been said about the protection of framed prints applies with still 
greater force to water-color drawings, as a water-color is far more 
delicate in its constitution than a print, and therefore much less easily 
restored to its first appearance after it has been damaged by mildew. 

Engravings can not be injured at all by light, the only effect of 
which is to bleach slightly the paper on which they are printed, but it 
appears to be quite an ascertained fact that water-color drawings fade 
when they are painted in full colors, though water-color monochromes 
in sepia, bistre, or Indian-ink may resist light almost indefinitely. If, 
then, the object is to preserve water-colors for future generations, they 
ought to be kept in cabinets ; but it is also intelligible that the owner 


of a collection may reasonably sacrifice a few drawings in his lifetime 
(and the sacrifice is only partial) to the satisfaction of seeing them more 
frequently and of ornamenting his walls with them. An intermediate 
plan with regard to water-color drawings is to have case-frames that 
allow one drawing to be easily substituted for another when the 
mounts are of the same size. The drawing is then exhibited for a 
short time only, and the owner has the refreshment of change on the 
walls of his room. The same plan may be followed with prints, simply 
for the sake of change. 

With regard to the keeping of drawings in portfolios, there are rea- 
sons for believing that portfolios are not entirely safe. I have known 
a case in which prints in portfolios suffered visibly from damp, when 
every possible precaution seemed to have been taken for their pres- 
ervation. The portfolios were kept in a closet six feet by eight, which 
was selected because it had no outer wall, and, though there was not a 
fireplace in the closet itself, the door of it opened on a room where a 
fire was constantly kept. The closet was believed to be the driest 
place in the house, and the house itself was not in a damp situation, 
being exposed to all the winds that blow, and built upon rather elevated 
ground. It happened, however, that the outer walls were built of a 
porous kind of sandstone, which retained moisture in the winter, and 
as the portfolios in which the prints were kept were made of mill-board, 
also a retainer of moisture, the prints were really damp in spite of the 
carefully chosen closet. They showed the signs of damp as much, al- 
most, as if they had been hung upon a damp wall with a mill-board 
backing to each frame. It is plain, then, that the portfolio does not 
aiford absolute security, and, indeed, the mill-board of which portfolios 
are commonly made is in itself an element of danger. Shallow tin 
boxes, with removable lids made like those of pill-boxes, are much safer 
than the common portfolio. I have alluded in another paper (on the 
" Poor Collector) * to cabinets with shelves of thin wood separated 
from each other by small intervals. Prints or water-color drawings 
may be kept in such cabinets without other protection than a sheet of 
paper as a protection against the small quantity of dust that finds its 
way into the interior. The cabinets should be placed in rooms where 
there are regular fires, and when the room is thoroughly warmed the 
doors of the cabinets should be occasionally left open and their con- 
tents exposed to the air. As to the wood of which they are to be 
made, it should be one of the least absorbent woods. 

Well- closed cabinets or tin boxes are the best protection against 
dust. If portfolios are used, they ought always to have flaps, as with- 
out them dust is sure to get in and spoil the edges and sometimes part 
of the margins of the prints. The effect of dust in course of time is 
to discolor paper permanently. Suppose you lay a sheet of paper on 
another that is rather larger, so that the second shall not be entirely 

* "Longman's Magazine," September, 1885. 


covered by the first, and leave the two in a quiet place where dust will 
settle upon them, the unprotected margin of the second sheet will in 
course of time become discolored and show a contrast. Many draw- 
ings are so delicate that the dust can not be cleared from them without 
injuring the drawings themselves. Unfixed charcoals and pastels are 
the most delicate drawings of all, and require the most perfect protec- 
tion against dust. The tidy housekeeper who dusts the unfinished 
charcoal on the easel is alluded to with horror in the little treatises on 
that art as the most destructive of all its enemies. As the charcoal 
itself is nothing but unfixed dust, it obeys the housekeeper's feather- 
brush only .too readily, and disappears with the other dust that means 
nothing and is valueless. The housekeeper in such cases seems strik- 
ingly like the blind destructive forces of the natural world which 
respect genius and its productions no more than the commonest matter ; 
she is like the sea which drowns Shelley and rolls the fragment of a 
Greek statue among its pebbles. 

Protection against damp and dust may seem less necessary in the 
case of oil-pictures, but here also it has its importance. Unquestion- 
ably an oil-picture has a much stronger constitution than a water-color, 
yet it is admitted that some colors used in oil-paintings are affected 
unfavorably by moisture, and are insufficiently protected by pure oil. 
De Mayerne affirms that indigo fades in oil without varnish, but is 
durable under varnish, and the following quotation from Sir Charles 
Eastlake's "Materials for a History of Oil-Painting" w T ill show the 
peculiar kind of danger that may arise from damp : 

" The effect of moisture on verdigris, even when the color is mixed 
with oil, as noticed by Leonardo da Vinci, shows that such a vehicle, 
unless it be half resinified, affords no durable protection to some colors 
in humid climates ; and the efficacy of resinous solutions, as hydro- 
fuges, is at once exemplified by the fact that they answer the end 
which (unprepared) oil alone is insufficient to accomplish. Colors 
which are easily affected by humidity require to be protected accord- 
ing to the extent of the evil. Whatever precaution of this kind was 
requisite in Italy was doubly needed in Flanders. The superficial 
varnish which sufficed in the extreme case referred to by Leonardo 
was incorporated with the color by the oil-painters of the North. So 
in proportion as the Flemish painters adopted a thinner vehicle, the 
protecting varnish w r as applied on colors which the Italians could safely 
leave exposed, at all events till a general varnish was spread over the 
work. It will be remembered that this last method was unnecessary 
in the original Flemish process, according to which the colors, being 
more or less mixed with varnish, and being painted at once, remained 
glossy, and needed no additional defense." 

It would not be safe, however, to conclude from this that a simple 
coat of varnish is a perfect insurance against damp, for varnish itself 
may be ultimately penetrated by damp, as Field showed in his chapter 


on the " Fugacity of Colors." Here is Field's caution on the subject, 
which deserves attention : 

" Others, with some reason, have imagined that when pigments are 
locked up in varnishes and oils they are safe from all possibility of 
change ; and there would be much more truth in this position if we 
had an impenetrable varnish and even then it would not hold with 
respect to the action of light, however well it might exclude the in- 
fluences of air and moisture ; but, in truth, varnishes and oils them- 
selves yield to changes of temperature, to the action of a humid 
atmosphere, and to other chemical influences : their protection of color 
from change is, therefore, far from perfect." 

The best way, then, to keep oil-pictures in a state of safety is not 
to trust much to their power of resisting damp, but to treat them just 
as if they were notoriously delicate things like water-color drawings, 
although in reality we know that their constitution is more robust. 
An oil-picture, it is well to remember, may be attacked by damp from 
behind. If it is hung on a damp wall, the canvas will absorb damp 
from the wall, like the mill-board behind a water-color, and this damp 
will reach the colors through the priming. The proof that canvases 
absorb damp is that they hang flaccid on their stretching-frames when 
there is much moisture in the atmosphere. It is some protection to 
have the back of the canvas protected by a coat of paint applied with 
varnish, but a still better protection is to have two canvases on the 
same stretching-frame, the one that bears the work of the painter and 
another behind it with a coat of paint on both sides. The practice of 
having two canvases on the same stretcher has been adopted by more 
than one modern painter for various reasons. One reason is that an 
accidental blow to the canvas from behind,* or an indentation from 
some angular object, may produce a fracture of the paint in the pict- 
ure a fracture not immediately visible, perhaps, but likely to show 
itself later. 

It is generally of no use to propose anything that has not been 
already adopted to some extent in practice, but I may call attention 
to a plan which is successfully adopted by house-painters to protect 
wall-papers from damp. Their way (or one of their ways) is first to 
apply tin-foil to the wall, making it adhere by means of a thick coat 
of white-lead. This is found to be a good protection for the wall- 
paper which is pasted on the tin-foil. It would probably, in the same 
way, be an excellent protection for pictures if the double-canvas sys- 
tem were adopted and the under canvas covered with tin-foil upon 

* Canvases are exposed to injuries of this nature in exhibitions chiefly, from the 
corners of other pictures that may be carelessly placed against them, before or after the 
exhibition. In private houses this danger is scarcely to be dreaded, but it is well to 
bear in mind that all people except painters believe that it does no harm to a canvas to 
lean it against the corner of a chair, a table, a box, or anything that may present itself 


white-lead. It has been remarked that a certain kind of decorative 
work used in the middle ages consisted of paint applied on tin-foil and 
protected by glass. Here was a double protection against damp, the 
glass before and the tin-foil behind, the glass answering to the varnish 
on a picture, but with more complete efficacy. 

Glass is now largely used in the National Gallery for the protection 
of oil -pictures, but, unfortunately, the common objection that it does 
not allow the spectator to see the picture easily is but too well founded. 
What we really see is too often the reflection of a group of visitors to 
the gallery, almost as in a looking-glass. This happens especially 
when the picture is a dark one, and many of the finest old pictures are 
dark. We are sometimes told that it is an affair of focusing the eye, 
and that if we look as we ought to do at the picture itself, and not at 
the reflections, we shall not see the reflections. What really happens 
is this : If we look at the reflections of the visitors we see them won- 
derfully well, down to the most minute inventions of the feminine cos- 
tume, and if we look at the picture we see it in a confused way inter- 
mingled with the reflections. This being so, it follows that private 
owners are not much encouraged to put their pictures under glass. It- 
may be objected that water-colors are habitually protected in this way, 
and that no one complains. True, but in the first place, with regard 
to water-colors we have no choice, as any fly could spoil an unprotected 
water-color in a minute ; in the second place, a drawing in water- 
color is usually of small dimensions, so that it is more easily seen ; 
and, lastly, water-colors are generally paler than oil-pictures, so that 
they do not make such perfect mirrors. A dark old oil-picture w T ith a 
sheet of plate-glass before it is, in certain lights, almost as good a 
mirror as if the glass were lined w r ith quicksilver. We can hardly, 
then, include glass among the means to be recommended for protect- 
ing oil-pictures from damp, and must trust rather to the dryness of the 
atmosphere in which the pictures are kept ; and yet it is necessary to 
avoid excessive heating, which in certain cases produces or favors 
cracking and destroys by detaching paint from the priming of the 

Canvas may not seem a very durable material, and yet, on the 
whole, it is preferable to wooden panels, for it may truly be said of 
wood, as it was said of the arch in architecture, that it is never at rest. 
It is always either swelling or contracting, and if a composite panel is 
not quite scientifically constructed, it is sure to tear itself and show 
fissures. Panels are therefore usually employed for small works only, 
and for these copper would be better still, though it has been used 
rarely. If a panel is well painted on the back, it will absorb damp 
less readily, and this precaution is very easily taken. 

The art of removing a painting from an old to a new canvas is now 
so well understood that the operation, which many years ago seemed 
formidable, is now performed every day without attracting attention. 


In this way an old picture gets a new lease of life ; but the question 
remains whether the new lease might not be made longer, and indeed 
extended almost indefinitely, by impregnating the canvas with some- 
thing that would increase its durability without weakening its sub- 
stance. It is well known that the fiber of the threads in canvas is so 
weakened by the application of oil-paint, or oil alone, that it after- 
ward is easily torn, and it is weakened in the same way by some 
other applications. 

Oil-pictures unprotected by glass are always quietly accumulating 
a coat of dust and dirt, which, in course of time, unless it is occasion- 
ally removed, makes the hazardous process called "picture-cleaning" 
present itself as an ineluctable necessity if the work be visible at all. 
The two preservative cleanings are first simply dusting with a light 
feather-brush and an occasional careful washing with a soft rag, some 
warm water, and a little soap, but not a strong soap. I remember a 
house where a new Scotch house-maid, who was alarmingly industrious, 
was discovered one morning on the point of cleaning all the pictures 
in a certain room with soft-soap and a scrubbing-brush. She was 
about to apply the same treatment to the frames, on which there was 
a good deal of burnished gilding, which would all have immediately 
disappeared. As for the pictures themselves, if they were covered 
with old well-hardened varnish, they might possibly have survived, 
but unvarnished works would have been injured or destroyed. It is 
impossible to foresee what schemes a zealous servant may not carry 
into execution. Projecting ornaments on frames are always in danger 
from servants' dusters. I once possessed a plaster statuette, which 
was valuable because there were only three copies in existence, and 
every successive house-maid broke its arm off with a blow from the 
wooden stick which is inside a feather-brush. The arm was regularly 
glued on again for the next house-maid. The feather-brush looks a 
most innocent instrument, but the stick in it makes the house-maid 

I once knew an old gentleman who possessed a picture of great 
value, the most important work of its master (one of the old masters) 
in existence. This picture was the pride and pleasure of his old age, 
and he could not help caressing it, as it were. From sheer love of it, 
he could not be satisfied with looking at it, but must needs touch it 
frequently also, and his way was to pass an oiled rag gently over its 
surface. I believe the oil he used was olive-oil (he was a Frenchman, 
and so there would always be olive-oil in the house for the salad), and as 
olive-oil never dries, or at least is the worst drier known,* perhaps it 
did not accumulate on the picture, but the dust must have stuck to it, 
and made a fresh application necessary from time to time merely to 

* Field says that olive-oil is reported to have been used for painting in Italy in place 
of the desiccative oils, but he thinks it likely that it was only employed as a diluent. No 
painter in our climate would think of using olive-oil in any way whatever. 


clean off the old one. Olive-oil does not dry properly, but it becomes 
sticky after long exposure to the air, and nothing could be better cal- 
culated to catch and retain dust. The wisdom of our ancestors made 
them rejoice in coats of varnish applied thickly over dirty pictures, to 
lock up the dirt between the paint and the varnish, and so preserve it for 
the delight of posterity. Our ancestors liked dingy pictures, and the 
dirtier they were the better they seem to have liked them. The Presi- 
dent of the Irish Academy, in a witty speech that I regret not to have 
kept, said that in Ireland at the present day the public taste required 
that a picture should be very black, and that it should not cost more than 
six pounds. Now, dirt is a great help to darkness of complexion, as 
we all know by the faces of dirty boys in the streets, and, if darkness 
were considered a merit in these boys, it would be a great mistake to 
wash them. 

The question of picture-cleaning is one of the most complicated 
that can be. Suppose you leave a very dirty picture as it is, do you 
see, can you possibly see, what the artist painted ? Assuredly not ; 
and why should decent people tolerate dirty pictures when they will 
not tolerate a dirty table-cloth ? The answer is that, if the picture 
could be cleaned as safely as the table-cloth it would be done without 
hesitation, but that cleaning may possibly remove light glazes and 
scumblings along with the varnish, and that if these glazes, the finish- 
ing work of the artist, are once removed, no human being on earth, 
except the artist who painted the picture, can replace them. But, by 
the time a picture urgently wants cleaning, the painter has generally 
been for many years in his grave. Therefore, in having a picture 
cleaned you are risking that which can not be replaced. All this has 
been said before, but the arguments for and against picture-cleaning 
have usually been presented in a controversial manner by strong parti- 
sans of one side or the other, and, as I am not at all a partisan in the 
matter, I may be able to state the case more fairly. The choice of 
evils is this : To escape from the certain evil of leaving a picture con- 
cealed by the dirt upon it, you expose it to the possible evil of remov- 
ing the finishing glazes. Anybody who has painted a picture knows 
what a disaster that is. The degree of the disaster varies with differ- 
ent artists, according to the importance of the glazes in their system 
of work. To remove the glazes, even partially, from a Titian is to 
destroy the picture, because he glazed a great deal, and what we all 
know as the rich Titian color required that method for its production ; 
but, when a painter has used a more direct method, painting the in- 
tended color at once, or nearly so, then the removal of a glaze does 
not destroy the character of the picture, though it may diminish its 
beauty and charm. To remove a glaze, in any case, is to put the pict- 
ure back from a finished to an unfinished state ; this is exactly what 
is done, and the degree of destruction is in inverse ratio to the degree 
of advancement attained in that unfinished state. But, if the picture 


is extremely dirty, then it is as if some other person had glazed unin- 
telligently over the whole work, so that the original intentions of the 
artist are as much falsified in one direction by dirt as they are in an- 
other by taking the finish from his picture. The reasonable rule, then, 
would appear to be to clean pictures that really need it, but to avoid 
overcleaning with the most scrupulous care. 

The removal of varnish is in some cases rendered absolutely neces- 
sary by a foolish practice that was occasionally resorted to by our 
fathers the practice of tinting the varnish itself to give what they 
wrongly imagined to be tone. It was believed that anybody could 
varnish a picture ; and, by one of those amazing delusions that tak,e 
deep root in ignorant minds, it was thought that all the colors in a 
picture could be improved simultaneously by spreading one and the 
same transparent color over them. 

The question whether it is right to paint upon pictures when re- 
pairing them may be better understood by considering one or two par- 
ticular cases. I remember a house where the children were so much 
indulged that they were allowed to shoot with pop-guns and other 
engines at the family portraits, and they did this with such energy as 
actually to produce holes in the canvas one large hole, for example, 
in the face of a lady who had been beautiful a hundred years ago. 
Now, if that picture came to you by inheritance in that state, the ques- 
tion about repainting would present itself to you in a practical form. 
You would have to determine whether the face was to remain in its 
damaged condition or to be repaired. To leave it damaged would be 
to destroy the effect of the picture on everybody's mind, because 
everybody would think of the hole, and how the accident happened, 
instead of thinking about the beauty or history of the lady or the 
merit of the painting. It seems, then, that it would be reasonable to 
have the picture repaired, and yet it is indisputable that to do this 
must be to introduce the work of another man. Everything, then, de- 
pends on the skill of the restorer. In such a case as that the restorer 
would begin by carefully laying together the jagged threads of the 
canvas, so that none should project, and he would probably put a back- 
ing to support them ; then he would cover them with white-lead up to 
the level of the painted surface, and, when that was hard and dry, he 
would carefully color the white patch so as to replace what had been 
destroyed. Artists of considerable technical ability, but who have not 
the knack of producing salable pictures, sometimes attain such skill 
in the coloring of these patches that it becomes impossible to distin- 
guish them after restoration, and the picture has all the appearance of 
an uninjured work. I remember some portraits from an old French 
chateau that were all dirt and holes ; in fact, to call them dirty rags 
would scarcely have been an exaggeration, but the owner had a value 
for them, and wisely placed them in the hands of a very experienced 
painter. This artist knew a good cleaner, to whom he confided part of 


the work, and who began by cleaning the pictures carefully and put- 
ting them all on new canvases.* In this state the new canvas showed 
through all the holes like the skin of a pauper through his shirt, and 
every one of these little islands of new canvas had to be colored up to 
the tint of the surrounding paint, or rather to be colored like the paint 
which had disappeared, the nature of it having to be guessed from 
what remained round about it. When there is no detail, as often hap- 
pens in draperies and backgrounds, this is not extremely difficult, 
though it requires a well-trained eye to color ; but when detail has to 
be invented exactly in the style of the picture, that is a different mat- 
ter, which taxes the skill of the restorer to the utmost. However, 
there can be no question that when a picture is so injured as to present 
hiatuses, whether by holes in the canvas or by mere removal of the 
paint, it is an absolute necessity to have them filled as well as we can. 
Painting is not in the same position as literature in this respect. There 
are numerous unfinished lines in the " iEneid," and after the death of 
Virgil we are told that Augustus appointed a literary commission, em- 
powered by him to remove those parts which were glaringly unfinished 
and defective (as Virgil himself had died before his own intended re- 
visal of the poem) ; but we are also told that Augustus strictly for- 
bade the revisers to add anything whatever of their own. We all feel 
that no hand but that of the author should add anything to a poem ; 
we all prefer certain fragments of Coleridge and Shelley to any finish- 
ing that would involve additions by a reviser. In a minor degree we 
object to restoration in sculpture, though here we tolerate it to some 
extent. When a nose is broken from a bust, it is generally restored, 
and so is a finger on a hand ; but prudent conservators of museums do 
not often attempt the restoration of an arm that has entirely disap- 
peared. These distinctions, as well as our greater desire for the restora- 
tion of paintings, are all perfectly logical. A hiatus does not make a 
poem intolerable. The numerous small gaps in the " iEneid " have 
but a very slight effect in diminishing the reader's satisfaction, the 
reason being that they occur one at a time, and each little gap is for- 
gotten in the interest of the next perfect opening of two pages ; but in 
a picture all the gaps are seen at the same time, and distract our atten- 
tion from the general beauty of the work. A Greek bust, however 
lovely, is a torment to us without its nose, and though the restored 
nose may not be so good as the lost original, it allows us to admire the 
beauties of the brow and chin in peace. If we shrink from the restora- 
tion of an arm, it is because we do not know enough about the arm 
that has been lost to replace it satisfactorily, but the lost arm is not 
spoiled ; it is simply absent, and though there are loss and mutilation, 

* When this is done the old canvases are entirely destroyed by friction without injur- 
ing the paint, which is then fixed on the new canvas. A painting is removed from a 
wooden panel by first planing the wood till it is very thin, after which what remains of 
the wood is destroyed entirely by the use of sand-paper and scrapers. 


there is not a hiatus like an empty space which is inclosed within the 
four sides of a picture. The only excej)tions to the necessity for res- 
toration in damaged pictures are those cases in which a fragment of 
ancient painting is preserved less as a work of art than as an object of 
antiquarian interest. Then, of course, however mutilated, it must re- 
main in its mutilated condition like all those things which are valuable 
as materials for antiquarian studies. 

Vermin have to be guarded against carefully in the preservation of 
works of art. Drawings and engravings are generally protected either 
by portfolios or by glass, which prevent the droppings of flies from 
spotting them ; but I have seen prints spoiled in this way by being 
carelessly left upon a table for a very short time, when the flies took 
their opportunity and left their black dots. Their excrement is sol- 
uble in water, and can be removed easily from any hard substance 
while it is fresh, though it hardens and becomes less soluble after- 
ward ; but on an engraving it is disastrous, as it sinks into the paper 
like a stain. It therefore becomes a necessary precaution, especially 
in summer, to cover a print that is left on a table, or, better still, never 
to leave prints on tables at all. 

The worms that bore into wood are dangerous only to pictures on 
panels, and, as very few pictures are painted upon wood in these days, 
this enemy is not so much to be feared. When he attacks an old panel 
his holes may be stopped with a little marine glue, applied hot ; but it 
is curious how often worms will attack a thin piece of wood without 
penetrating to the other side. In two specimens before me, small 
panels three eighths of an inch thick, and about four inches by five, I 
find that in one case the worms have made twenty-two holes, not one 
of which has got through to the other side : and in the other case there 
are twenty-five holes, of which only seven have as yet penetrated. 

The only way to keep prints and drawings from the attacks of rats 
and mice is to have them always in closed cases if they are not framed, 
and, if the cases are of wood, it is a good precaution to have them cov- 
ered with thin sheet-iron behind and beneath, while the front panels 
may be glazed. Tin boxes are a perfect protection against rodents, 
and so, of course, is glass. Common portfolios are a poor protection, 
as a rat willingly attacks them, and soon eats his way through to the 
prints ; in fact, common portfolios are in all ways unsafe, being of use 
only to keep order. The danger from rats and mice is always present, 
for even in places where they are unknown they may at any time sud- 
denly make their appearance. A rat may find his way into your best 
protected room. I remember one summer's day in broad daylight, 
too seeing a large rat quietly descending into my study by means of 
a window-curtain, the window having been left open. He had walked 
along a little stone ledge that the architect had carried round the house 
as an ornament, which is a great convenience to rats. When a house 
is perfectly quiet at night a rat will wander about in the coolest man- 


ner, and enter by any door that happens to be left ajar. In this way 
a fine black rat once got into my study and remained there for several 
days. I heard him distinctly behind certain heavy pieces of furniture, 
but could not get at him. He did a great deal of damage, though 
happily not to anything of much value, and he ended his career in a 
trap. Had I been away from home, the devastation caused by that 
one animal might have been serious. But his visit taught me a lesson, 
as he especially attacked portfolios, while the shallow tin boxes on 
shelves which I have adopted of late years entirely escaped his atten- 
tions. It is astonishing by what a narrow orifice a mouse will find her 
way into any place that she desires to visit. Drawers are sometimes 
so constructed that, although they fit well in front (for the sake of 
appearances), they are loose in the chest behind, and the consequence 
is that, if a mouse can get into the chest anywhere, she has all the 
drawers at her disposal. The first use she will make of any precious 
papers will probably be to tear them into little pieces and establish a 
comfortable nest in a corner. 

In my article on " The Poor Collector" I touched briefly upon the 
question of frames. We have already noticed the curious fact that 
people who are strict about cleanliness in common household matters 
will tolerate dirty pictures. Very dirty frames are also tolerated in 
some public and private collections ; in fact, I have seen collections 
where the notion that frames and pictures would be the better for be- 
ing clean does not appear to have dawned upon the owner's mind. 
Surely, however, it is with these things as with all other things, clean- 
liness is pleasing in itself and an addition to the charm of beauty. One 
likes to see a pretty child with a clean face and an unspotted frock, 
though it might still be recognized as a pretty child if it lived in filth 
and squalor. In the case of pictures and their belongings, dirt is es- 
pecially incongruous, because there can not be any poverty to excuse 
it. Pictures and their frames are superfluities in any case, and why 
tolerate a dirty superfluity ? * 

A word, in conclusion, may be said about the art of exhibiting 
things to advantage in private rooms. It is astonishing how few peo- 
ple understand the simple principle that some works of art may be 
injurious to others when shown by the side of them. For example, 
engravings are always killed by paintings, and the white margins of 

* The one reason for dirty frames is the partial burnishing of the gilding. Oil-gild- 
ing can not be burnished ; water-gilding, which takes burnish, can not be washed with 
water, and nothing but water will clean a fly-spotted, dirty frame effectually. Conse- 
quently a frame that has burnish upon it can only be dusted, and when it becomes really 
dirty it must be sent to the gilder ; but, as regilding is expensive, it is postponed as long 
as possible sometimes for a lifetime, and even for more than one generation. "With oil- 
gilding only and one thin coat of varnish over the gilding (the varnish is nearly imper- 
ceptible if properly applied), a frame may be washed from time to time. This has been 
said already in the paper on " The Poor Collector," but is repeated here in a note for 
readers who have not that paper to refer to. 



engravings diminish the luminous quality of paintings ; yet there are 
people who hang paintings and engravings in the same room. Again, 
there are others who would not do that, but who will hang paintings 
together of which the style and sentiment are so absolutely incongruous 
that they can not avoid conflict, and require entirely different moods 
of mind for the right appreciation of them. Suppose you have a 
gravely furnished room, a library, and one or two portraits in it of 
thoughtful and serious men painted soberly and in quiet color, would 
it not evidently be a great mistake to admit into that room any picture 
whatever that should disturb the pensive tranquillity of the place ? 
Fancy the effect if you admitted a gaudy modern portrait of an over- 
dressed lady with a smirk upon her face as she sat happy in her glare 
and flitter of millinery and trinkets ! There ought to be in every 
room a certain prevailing note or mood of the human mind whatever 
it may be, and everything should be kept subordinate to that one 
dominant idea, with sufficient variety to avoid dullness, but without 
transgression of the limits prescribed by the idea. In a word, let us 
have ideal unity ; let us avoid the incongruous. A room may contain 
different works of art, but, in a comprehensive sense, it is a work of 
art in itself, and the first necessity for every work of art is unity. If 
it is decided that the note of the room is to be cheerfulness, it is easy 
to keep faithful to that. Light in itself is an element of cheerfulness, 
so the wall-paper will be light. Water-colors are more cheerful than 
oil-paintings, because water-color painting is apparently slighter and 
more rapid ; it conveys better the idea of felicitous dexterity. "Water- 
colors, too, may have margins, and the white of the margins gives much 
light and gayety to a room. The frames must be gilded, because 
nothing is so cheerful as gilding ; but they must not be heavy, because 
massiveness is oppressive to the imagination. The pictures themselves 
should be generally light, and the coloring as bright and gay as it can 
be without crudity. In such a room we do not want melancholy land- 
scapes or solemn-looking personages, but we want blue skies and sun- 
shine, merrily rippling waters, human life in youth or healthy maturity, 
happy in activity and love, not burdened with care and sorrow all in 
that sweet dream-land of the poetic imagination 

"Where the flowers ever blossom, the beams ever shine." 

The opposite mood of thoughtful gravity is not by any means in- 
ferior as a motive, and it is more in consonance with the habitual feel- 
ings of mature age. The greatest of all artists have worked in the 
serious sense, and our noblest pictures, like our sweetest songs, " are 
those that tell of saddest thought," or, if not quite of the saddest, still 
of that quietly grave, reflective thought which is " far from all resort 
of mirth." Few paintings of the human face have such a permanent 
hold upon the memory, or are so often looked at, or for so many min- 
utes at once, as that picture by Francia in the Louvre which is simply 
vol. xxix. 7 


called the " Portrait of a Gentleman." Nobody knows anything what- 
ever about the original, but the "gentleman" is so sad and thoughtful 
that we dream with him, and see the world through his melancholy 
eyes. In minor degrees many paintings have this kind of attraction ; 
it is to be found in landscape as well as in portrait and history, and, 
if a few thoughtful works are brought together in the same room, 
without being neutralized by anything discordant in furniture and 
decoration, their effect upon the mind may be both durable and pro- 
found. Longmarts Magazine. 




EVEN if the study of words, as it is carried on by the method of 
the natural sciences, did not furnish evidence that all language is 
traceable back to primordial monosyllabic elements, observation of the 
language-processes in children would lead to that conclusion. Gestures 
and physiognomical motions preceded language proper, or articulate 
language ; and on this point it is of interest to compare man with the 
monkeys, which are able to express a considerable variety of feelings 
by the play of the muscles of the forehead and the eyebrows, the lips, 
nose, and jaws. If asked on what vocalization depends, we should 
answer that it depends solely on a particular sensation being stronger 
than others. With the infant, voice is provoked at first by some uneasi- 
ness or suffering ; and it is not till a later period that it responds to a 
feeling of comfort and satisfaction. But in either case the first emis- 
sions have nothing intentional about them, and there is no link of 
volition between the feeling and the vocal manifestation of it. The 
time comes at last when the child, beginning to perceive what is going 
on around him, remarks that they always come to his help when he 
has committed the act of utterance ; and he has from that time learned 
by experiment the use of his vocal power. He employs it at first in a 
very general and vague way ; but, as he is taught by experience, he 
learns to exercise it more precisely, more in accordance with his voli- 
tion, and to adapt the vocal emission to the results he wishes to bring 
about. He also perceives the greater facility of expression it gives 
him, and so goes on developing his precious faculty as he continues to 
exercise it. Tylor has clearly brought out the fact that savages have 
in a high degree the power of expressing their ideas directly by emo- 
tional tones. These tones, or interjections, are the first elements of 
grammatical language. The same author has also remarked another 
fact, that children not more than three or four years old, for example, 
are wont to observe the play of features, attitude, and gestures of the 


person who is speaking to them, in order to get the exact sense of the 
words which they hear. 

We mention here, without dwelling upon it, that the faculty of 
language stands in close relation with a certain one of the frontal con- 
volutions of the brain, which the inferior monkeys do not possess and 
which is found in a rudimentary state in the anthropoids, but the full 
acquisition and most complete development of which have made man, 
what he is, the master of articulate speech. 

We thus perceive that the study of language belongs to the domain 
of the natural sciences. The objections that have been made to this 
view have little force with us. The first of them is that language is 
not transmitted with the blood. This confounds the transmission of 
the art of speech with that of the faculty of language. The faculty is 
hereditarily transmitted ; it is intimately related to the cerebral devel- 
opment, and goes down with the structure, nature^ and qualities of the 
brain. As to the way in which the transmitted organ shall perform its 
functions, the parents of the child are there to stimulate and direct it, 
and to teach their offspring how to use the faculty it has inherited 
from them. We must not confound the faculty with the use that may 
be made of it. That use is an art, which the child acquires by tradi- 
tion. But, we repeat, in the period of formation of a language, sono- 
rous expression is only the more intense formulation of an emotion, 
usually associated with mimicry, the general attitude and face-play, 
a formulation which has the advantage of being more striking to 
strangers. In any case, it originally required to be complemented by 
gesture ; and peoples little advanced in civilization may still be cited, 
among whom conversation is difficult in the dark, where mimicry can 
not be brought in to aid it. Bon wick relates that the Tasmanians had 
to recur to gestures and signs to establish the exact sense of their 
words ; and Spix and Martins say the same of some of the savages of 
South America, and Cranz of the Greenlanders. These observations 
are far from being the only ones that have been made to the same 

A sound reason for including the study of language among the 
natural sciences lies in the fact that no man or group of men is com- 
petent arbitrarily to change the structure of its language. Fashion 
may sometimes admit particular words or banish others, but that has 
nothing to do with the structure. The morphological evolution of 
language defies all convention, all encroachment ; it goes on by virtue 
of its own force, more or less slowly or speedily, but without the fancy 
or the pleasure of men having any power to divert it from its course. 
In short, we must avoid confounding changes in the vocabulary with 
linguistic, or, as we might call them, morphological changes. Among 
some Polynesian peoples, words are sometimes abolished ; they will 
cease, for example, to employ in conversation the syllables that occur 
in the name of a chief ; some people of the Bantu race will not pro- 


nounce any syllable that is found in the name of a near male relative. 
But these are special usages, temporary fashions, and have nothing 
whatever to do with the structure of the language. Then, again, we 
witness the creation of new words every day, but these words are 
always formed according to analogies with already existing words. 
They may be happy inventions or awkward attempts, but they are 
never pure creations or wholly fanciful. 

A second objection to the classification of linguistic among scien- 
tific studies rests upon the fact that whole peoples, and even races, are 
capable of abandoning their own language and adopting another. The 
fact is undeniable ; but it is also undeniable that language is inde- 
pendent of history ; and, to take one example among many, we have 
seen Latin go on in its evolution in Gaul, Spain, and Roumania, after 
having been adopted by the barbarians. 

It is proper to say something here about so-called mixed languages, 
which are, however, not at all hybrid in their structure, but have 
simply admitted foreign words into their vocabularies. With all the 
Persian and Arabic words it contains, the Turkish language is evi- 
dently and only Altaic. The Araucanian language, although it has 
received a host of Spanish words, is a purely American idiom. Eng- 
lish is Germanic, although its vocabulary is loaded with words of 
Latin origin. The French language was introduced into England by 
the Norman conquest in the eleventh century. From the two lan- 
guages which were then found in the presence of one another, the 
Anglo-Saxon and the French, it has been usually said that a mixed 
language was formed the English. This assertion is very inexact, 
from the morphological point of view. French, after the conquest, 
became the language of the court and of justice, while it entered into 
the popular language, the Anglo-Saxon, only as to its vocabulary ; but 
there it made a deep impression. Of 43,000 words in the English lan- 
guage, as they occur in the dictionary, more than 29,000 are of Roman 
origin, while only 13,000 or 14,000 are of Germanic origin, or Anglo- 
Saxon ; yet the English language is wholly Germanic in its structure. 
The remains of the declensions of nouns and of the conjugations of 
verbs are Germanic, with no Latin about them. Another example of 
the kind is found in the Basque language, three quarters of the vo- 
cabulary of which is to-day Romanic ; yet the fact does not prevent 
the language from having a peculiarly individual structure and form 
wholly free from Romanic elements in its grammar. 

In short, the processes of linguistic study which have nothing in 
common with those of the study of philology demonstrate that the 
linguist studies the anatomy of forms just as the botanist and zoolo- 
gist do. 

Another objection to the scientific view of linguistics is more 
specious, but not more solid. It is that, since articulate language can 
not be produced without vocal organs, it can not be regarded as an 


independent organism ; besides, the sounds or vocal emissions do not 
become a language till they acquire significance by means of an opera- 
tion that escapes us. It is easy to answer to this that, while language 
is in relation with a mental operation, it nevertheless constitutes a fact 
which is perceived by a sense the sense of hearing. Of course, it is 
only in the abstract sense that we can regard language as an organ- 
ism, but there is no doubt that in reality it behaves like an organism, 
and that it is in a constant state of evolution. And it is to this con- 
dition of evolution that I invite attention. 

The phases of this evolution, as we understand it, are those of 
formation, growth, maturity, and decay. The variation is continual. 
Languages arise, are developed, pass on to decadence, and perish, like 
other organized beings. That their historical development is modi- 
fied in the course of ages, according to certain conditions, is incon- 
testable ; but the observer of these modifications never sees in them 
anything other than phenomena of natural evolution. The evident 
proof of this fact is that the evolution is, as a whole, the same in lin- 
guistic families essentially different from one another. 

Abel Remusat has, in his "Recherches sur les langues tartares," 
indicated the general nature of the evolution of idioms : " In studying 
them attentively," he says, "we are tempted to believe that they are 
as constant in their march as the physical constitution that gives origin 
to them. . . . Possibly there prevails in languages less of the arbitrary 
than we have been accustomed to suppose ; and, if we bring to their 
study the necessary care, we may be able to find in them signs as sure, 
as pronounced, and as characteristic as 'those which we can deduce 
from physiognomy, the color of the skin, or any other physical and 
external peculiarity." This "necessary care" has been carried into 
the study of languages, and we shall see to what conclusions it has 
led us. 

We are not acquainted with any language in its embryonic condi- 
tion, if such a term is admissible. All of the languages submitted to 
our direct observation, even those of the most primitive stage, have 
passed the period of formation, which was prehistoric, and are now in 
the historical period, and generally in their decay. But by methodi- 
cally separating and comparing their formative elements we can put 
ourselves, as it were, into the period of their formation. 

The result of such comparative researches has confirmed the the- 
ory proposed in 1818 by William Schlegel, that languages first passed 
through a monosyllabic period ; that some of them rose to the stage 
of development called the agglutinative ; and that a small number of 
these last reach a later stage of flexion. The structure of the lan- 
guages of the first class is simple, that of the second class is complex, 
and that of the third class is still more complex. 

In the first phase of language, the root and the word are one, and 
each word-root or root-word is monosyllabic. The phrase is therefore 


a pure and simple succession of isolated roots. It is evident that the 
first process of elocution was of this character. Expression was found 
in uttering, one after another, monosyllables which were sometimes 
undoubtedly onomatopoetic imitations of noises, sounds, and cries. 

Existing monosyllabic languages have singularly improved upon 
this primitive process, while they have still remained monosyllabic. 
They have not created grammar, there being no structure in their 
words, but they have created a syntax. This syntax consists in the 
position in the phrase given to the different root-words. The place 
which any monosyllable occupies in the phrase determines the mean- 
ing of that monosyllable. The same process of syntactical arrange- 
ment comes back into use in the existing analytical languages that are 
most advanced in decadence. When, for example, we say in English, 
" Peter likes John," we are obliged to put the word Peter at the be- 
ginning of the phrase, and John at the end ; for both words have lost 
every morphological distinction that could show which of them is the 
subject and which the object. It is not so in the synthetical lan- 
guages in which the subject and the object are distinguished by the 
form of the word, and position in the phrase is of little importance. 
Thus, to say in Latin that the Helvetians sent legates, we say indif- 
ferently, Uelvetii legatos miserunt, or Legatos miserunt Helvetii ; the 
form in which the two nouns are put defining their respective func- 

In Chinese, the root which is to be the subject, or nominative in a 
phrase, takes its place before the root that has the significance of a 
verb. By thus assigning to the subject-word a fixed place in the 
phrase, the want of the grammatical elements which in Greek and 
Latin characterize the nominative case is obviated. In a monosyllabic 
language, in short, there is no grammar ; there are no substantive 
forms, no verbal forms, or declensions, or conjugations, or gender, 
moods, or tenses, nothing but syntax, or "putting together.'* This, 
moreover, is what we shall more easily grasp in studying the transi- 
tion from monosyllablism to agglutination, or the passage from the 
first to the second linguistic phase. 

This transition or evolution takes place in a very simple way. 
Some word-roots abdicate a part of their meaning and become simple 
elements of relation, while others retain their full and independent 
signification. In Chinese and in other existing monosyllabic lan- 
guages, we find this division of words into "full" words (which we 
may translate into English by a noun or a verb) and " vacant " words, 
the primary sense of which has gradually become obscured, and which 
have come to define more exactly or limit the broad sense of the " full" 
words. It is an interesting fact that a similar process has been em- 
ployed at a much later stage in languages which have reached a high 
degree of development. Thus, in Latin, besides the word circus, 
a circle, we find circum, around, a kind of vacant word, denoting 


only relation ; and examples of the kind might be multiplied in that 
language. So in Chinese, a monosyllabic language, the word for 
with, the sign of the instrumental case (" with the arm," " with a 
stick") is simply the root which when a "full" word signifies to 
make use of. 

In the monosyllabic languages, the full words and the vacant words 
follow one another without ever amalgamating ; that is, the roots are 
always isolated from each other, and there is never a word of several 
syllables. It is true that we can form something like compounds by 
bringing two words together, but without uniting them. Thus, in 
Chinese, the words fd, father, and mil, mother, brought together un- 
der the form of fu-mii, signify parents ; and in the same way the words 
for " far " and " near " are made to signify distance. But there is 
nothing of derivation in this. Neither of the two words serves as an 
element of relation to the other, but each keeps all of its personality. 

A step further is taken at a certain moment of linguistic develop- 
ment. The word indicating relation, the vacant word, is joined to 
the full word, and a polysyllabic form arises. A new word is formed, 
consisting of something else than a simple root, by the agglomeration 
of different elements, and we are in a secondary or agglutinative stage. 
We have no longer two full words juxtaposed to form a composite 
word ; but an annexation to the principal word of a word playing the 
part of a secondary derivative and defining the relations of the root to 
which it is joined. When this derivative element is placed after the 
radical form, it is called a suffix ; when it is placed at the beginning 
of the word, it is a prefix. Sometimes it is intercalated in the body of 
the word, and is then called an infix ; but that method of derivation 
is rare. 

It may be added that there are no limitations to derivation. The 
derived word may be the beginning of a second compound, and this 
of a third, and so on. Thus, in Magyar, the derivative zdrat means 
he causes to shut, and zdrhat he can shut ; then, by a secondary 
derivation, we form zdrathat, he can cause to shut. In like manner, 
zdratgat, he causes to shut often, is a secondary, and zdratgathat, 
he can cause to shut often, is a tertiary derivative. The languages of 
the third period of evolution, Latin for example, present a consider- 
able number of these secondary and tertiary derivatives. The Latin 
word pater, father, is a primary derivative, of which the full or radical 
element is pa and the limiting element is ter. JPaternits, whence our 
paternal, is a secondary, and paternitas, corresponding with our pater- 
nity, is a tertiary derivative. But our languages have not the extraor- 
dinary facility in derivation possessed by some simply agglutinative 
idioms. Thus, in the Turkish language, a single word may be made 
to introduce an indefinite number of ideas : as, sevmek, to love ; s&v- 
mhneh, not to love ; sevilmek, to be loved ; sevilmhnek, not to be 
loved ; sevdirmUc, to make to love ; sevdirmemt7c, not to make to 


love ; s&vinm&k, to love one's self ; and so on, in which the derivative 
elements indicate, in the various forms, negation, causation, the reflex- 
ive quality, and other ideas, which in our language have to be ex- 
pressed by separate words. 

The larger number of languages are in the secondary or agglutina- 
tive stage. Among them are the negro, Malay, Polynesian, Dra- 
vidian, Altaic, Basque, and American languages or families of lan- 
guages. But community of structure is no sign of relationship ; it 
only indicates that two or more languages are in the same stage of 

Some languages have made but little progress in agglutination, 
while others have advanced a great way in it. Some of the Western 
African negro languages still use, with agglutinative forms, processes 
that appertain to the monosyllabic structure. These are not cases of 
return to ancient forms, but are survivals of ancient forms in the 
midst of more complex formations. Some idioms, also, perpetually 
betray the evidences of the passage from monosyllablism to aggluti- 
nation. Such languages have no literary value, and are not at all 
prominent ; but they are like those obscure vegetable or animal spe- 
cies which are frequently richer in facts for the botanist or zoologist 
than other species that are usually esteemed much more useful or 

It is not quite so easy to explain the phenomena of the evolution 
from agglutination to flexion. The principle by which the evolution 
takes place is that of a phonic modification of the root. In the Indo- 
European languages, among which are included the Sanskrit, Persian, 
Greek, Latin, etc., evolution took place, according to M. Victor Henry, 
not only in this way, but by an agglutination of infixes also. But this 
point is not yet cleared up. 

If we consider the ancient languages of the Indo-European family 
Sanskrit, Greek, and Latin we shall find that they are in different 
degrees synthetic ; while, if we examine the characters of the modern 
branches of the family, we shall discover that they are analytical. This 
effect is the work of linguistic decadence, which has been less rapid 
in the Slavic languages than in the Germanic, in the Germanic than 
in the Romanic languages. 

This decadence, which constitutes a new phase of evolution, is not 
brought about by chance. Regarding it phonetically, we see in it the 
results of the least effort. Diphthongs are condensed, as when in Latin 
veicos and cleivos become vicus and dens. Assimilation takes place 
among the consonants, as when noctem, night, becomes notte, or sep- 
tem, seven, sette, or when the earlier s-sound is softened into a simple 
aspirate. A considerable number of phonetic variations, which baffle 
persons not familiar with linguistic studies, are justified by comparison 
with other words. 

Grammatical decadence also corresponds with a simplification. The 


ancient Indo-European language, of which the comparison of the San- 
skrit, Greek, Latin, Slavic, and Germanic languages has enabled us to 
restore the important forms, possessed a rich system of declensions. 
Latin lost a part of its cases, and had of others only vestiges. Old 
French went a step further, and only kept two cases, the subject and the 
object cases ; and even this greatly simplified declension disappeared 
in the fourteenth century, and the French language became wholly 
analytical, yet not without preserving traces of the two cases of the 
middle ages in the double forms of some of its words. 

The simplification of declension appears in all modern languages. 
In Persian there is, properly, no declension. The dative and accusa- 
tive are expressed by adding prepositions to the noun, the genitive by 
syntactical arrangement. Modern Greek has lost the forms of the 
dual number and of the dative case. Among the Semitic languages, 
current or spoken Arabic has dropped the terminations by which the 
cases are distinguished in literary Arabic. In vulgar Arabic the cases 
are distinguished by the position of the words or the use of preposi- 
tions. The same analytical phenomena may be observed in the con- 
jugations. In the original Indo-European system, the perfect was 
formed by the reduplication of the root. Latin formed its perfects by 
compositions of words in which the auxiliaries were partly disguised 
as terminations, and in modern languages the analytical process has 
been further carried out. The same process is going on in the future 
tenses, which in English have reached the ultimate stage of it. Deca- 
dence sometimes proceeds by the primary value of a form or a word 
being forgotten. French affords some curious examples of this. Take 
the words luette, uvula, and lierre, ivy, which are from the Latin uveta, 
heeler a. In old French they were written uette, hierre. When the 
article was prefixed they appeared as Vaette, Vhierre. Then the mean- 
ing of the article was forgotten or misconceived, and it was written as 
a part of the words. It then had to be supplied again, and so the 
French say now la luette, la lierre. This deformation took place natu- 
rally and without intention. 

I come now to speak of the struggle for existence which is con- 
stantly going on between languages geographically near to one an- 
other and between different dialects of the same language. Unless 
one of the idioms is specially favored in the struggle by political cir- 
cumstances, it is evident that the one which is most advanced in evo- 
lution will gain upon those which are less advanced : this fact can be 
established by many examples. Thus, in the territory which is now 
France, Latin, introduced into Gaul by a relatively small number of 
persons, shortly surpassed the Celtic dialects. The French language is 
wholly Latin, having retained from the Celtic only a few recollections 
in its vocabulary ; but, when the Germans established themselves in a 
large part of Gaul, instead of giving their language to the conquered 
population, they abandoned it in the end and adopted the neo-Latin, 


which afterward became French ; and the French language is no more 
Germanic than it is Celtic. Natural selection has caused the disap- 
pearance of a considerable number of idioms. Languages which come 
into conflict are like groups of animals that have to struggle with one 
another for existence. They must gain upon their competitors, or re- 
sign themselves to disappear before them. Just as, in the contest for 
life and development, the best-armed races finally prevail over those 
which are less favored, so languages which are best served by their 
own aptitudes and by external circumstances prevail over those whose 
evolutive force is less considerable, and over those which historical 
conditions have less well prepared for the combat. In France, the 
French, the ancient langue cVoil gradually supplanted the langue cVoc, 
the Corsican, the Breton, the Flemish, and the Basque. In the British 
Islands, English eclipsed the Celtic languages, Irish, Scotch, Manx, and 
Gaelic, and will shortly have supplanted the Cornish. German has 
overcome a number of Slavic idioms. 

Another kind of selection is going on within the language itself 
with reference to the use of particular forms and words. In reference 
to this, the study of dialects is of great interest. Dialects should not 
be regarded as degenerate conditions of literary languages. These 
languages are simply fortunate dialects, whose rival dialects have been 
less favored. We are constantly meeting in dialects forms and words 
which their sister literary languages have not preserved ; and this fact 
gives dialects an important place in the study of the natural history of 

The fact that some idioms have been lost has been disadvantageous 
to linguistic studies because intermediate forms have thereby disap- 
peared, the existence of which would have explained many living 
forms. In this, again, we have presented in language something com- 
parable to what has taken place among animals and plants. More- 
over, a linguistic species, once extinct, can never be brought back to 
life. It has been only a little while since the Tasmanians disappeared, 
and their language with them. Those people who were the product 
of a long ethnic evolution can never be brought back ; no more can a 
language like theirs, which was also the product of a long develop- 
ment, be revived. So in the world of animals and plants, the disap- 
pearance of a species is always definitive ; to bring it back to a new 
life would require the impossible return of the conditions of every 
kind which had brought it up to the stage which it had reached at the 
moment of its extinction. 

I should be satisfied if I could believe that this review, perhaps too 
rapid, has made evident the interesting fact of the life and evolution 
of languages. To say life of language does not seem sufficient, for 
that word only gives the idea of a simple state of activity. The word 
evolution is more rigorously exact. We find ourselves, in fact, in the 
presence of successive developments of an entirely natural order. The 


organic perfectionment of the brain gives to the highest of the primates 
the faculty of articulate speech ; that faculty, brought into play, gives 
rise to an extremely rudimentary system of expression, the source of 
which, as Lucretius has observed with much force and justice, lies in 
an imperious need. This need is, in fact, the creator of words. Gradu- 
ally the monosyllabic words become differentiated into principal words 
and words of secondary signification. A new phase begins with the 
closer association of words, and the different processes of derivation 
develop themselves more and more. The third phase is characterized 
at first by a remarkable synthetic process, which soon, however, under- 
goes simplification, and yields under the influence of a more rapid 
civilization to a more and more accentuated analytical precision. The 
ultimate form has evidently not yet been reached by the English and 
French languages ; but since language was born with man, and is his 
single characteristic, though laboriously and slowly developed as all his 
powers have expanded, it is destined to be transformed into more and 
more perfect forms of expression as man himself continues to ascend 
in the scale of superiority. Translated for the Popular Science 
Monthly from the lievue Scientifique. 




" /~\NCE upon a time," says that delicious creation of Lewis Car- 
\J roll's, the Mock Turtle, " I was a real turtle ! " Once upon a 
time, the modern sole might with greater truth plaintively observe, I 
was a very respectable sort of a young codfish. In those happy days, 
my head was not unsymmetrically twisted and distracted all on one 
side ; my mouth did not open laterally instead of vertically ; my two 
eyes were not incongruously congregated on the right half of my dis- 
torted visage ; and my whole body w r as not arrayed, like a Portland 
convict's, in a party-colored suit, dark -brown on the right and fleshy- 
white on the left department of my unfortunate person. When I was 
young and innocent, I looked externally very much like any other 
swimming thing, except, to be sure, that I was perfectly transparent, 
like a speck of jelly-fish. I had one eye on each side of my head ; my 
face and mouth were a model of symmetry ; and I swam upright like 
the rest of my kind, instead of all on one side after the bad habit of 
my own immediate family. Such, in fact, is the true portrait of the 
baby sole, for the first few days after it has been duly hatched out of 
the eggs deposited on the shallow spawning-places by the mother- 

After some weeks, however, a change comes o'er the spirit of the 
young flat-fish's dream of freedom. In his very early life he is a w r an- 


derer and a vagabond on the face of the waters, leading what the sci- 
entific men prettily describe as a pelagic existence, and much more 
frequently met with in the open sea than among the shallows and 
sand-banks which are to form the refuge of his maturer years. But 
soon his Wanderjdhre are fairly over : the transparency of early youth 
fades out with him exactly as it fades out in the human subject : he 
begins to seek the recesses of the sea, settles down quietly in a com- 
fortable hollow, and gives up his youthful Bohemian aspirations in 
favor of safety and respectability on a sandy bottom. This, of course, 
is all as it should be ; in thus sacrificing freedom to the necessities of 
existence he only follows the universal rule of animated nature. But, 
like all the rest of us when we settle down into our final groove, he 
shortly begins to develop a tendency toward distinct one-sidedness. 
Lying flat on the sand upon his left cheek and side, he quickly under- 
goes a strange metamorphosis from the perfect and symmetrical to the 
lopsided condition. His left eye, having now nothing in particular to 
look at on the sands below, takes naturally to squinting as hard as it 
can round the corner, to observe the world above it ; and so effectually 
does it manage to squint that it at last pulls all the socket and sur- 
rounding parts clean round the head to the right or upper surface. In 
short, the young sole lies on his left side till that half of his face 
(except the mouth) is compelled to twist itself round to the opposite 
cheek, thus giving him through life the appearance constantly depre- 
cated by nurses who meet all unilateral grimaces on the part of their 
charges with the awful suggestion, " Suppose you were to be struck 
so ! " The young sole is actually struck so, and remains in that dis- 
tressing condition ever afterward. 

This singular early history of the individual sole evidently recapit- 
ulates for us in brief the evolutionary history of the entire group to 
which he belongs. It is pretty clear (to believers, at least) that the 
prime ancestor of all the flat-fish was a sort of cod, and that his de- 
scendants only acquired their existing flatness by long persistence in 
the pernicious habit of lying always entirely on one side. Why the 
primeval flat-fish first took to this queer custom is equally easy to un- 
derstand. Soles, turbots, plaice, brill, and other members of the flat- 
fish family are all, as we well know, very excellent edible fishes. Their 
edibility is as highly appreciated by the sharks and dog-fish as by the 
enlightened public of a Christian land. Moreover, they are ill-provided 
with any external protection, having neither fierce jaws, like the pike 
and shark ; efficient weapons of attack, like the sword-fish and the elec- 
tric eel ; or stout defensive armor, like the globe-fish, the file-fish, and 
the bony pike, whose outer covering is as effectually repellent as that of 
a tortoise, an armadillo, or a hedgehog. The connection between these 
apparently dissimilar facts is by no means an artificial one. Fish 
which possess one form of protection seldom require the additional 
aid of another : for example, all the electric fish have scaleless bodies, 


for the very simple reason that no unwary larger species is at all 
likely to make an attempt to bite them across the middle ; if it did, 
it would soon retire with a profound respect through all its future life 
for the latent resources of electrical science. But the defenseless an- 
cestor of the poor flat-fishes was quite devoid of any such offensive or 
defensive armor, and, if he was to survive at all, he must look about 
(metaphorically speaking) for some other means of sharing in the sur- 
vival of the fittest. He found it in the now-ingrained habit of skulk- 
ing unperceived on the sandy bottom. By that plan he escaped the 
notice of his ever-present and watchful enemies. He followed (uncon- 
sciously) the good advice of the Roman poet : bene latuit. 

But, when the father of all soles (turbot, brill, and dabs included) 
first took to the family trick of lying motionless on the sea-bottom, 
two courses lay open before him. (That there were not three was proba- 
bly due to the enforced absence of Mr. Gladstone.) He might either 
have lain flat on his under-surface, like the rays and skates, in which 
case he would, of course, have flattened out symmetrically sidewise, 
with both his eyes in their normal position, or he might have lain on the 
right or left side exclusively, in which case one side would soon prac- 
tically come to be regarded as the top and the other side as the bot- 
tom surface. For some now almost incomprehensible reason, the father 
of all soles chose the latter and more apparently uncomfortable of 
these two possible alternatives. Imagine yourself to lie (as a baby) 
on your left cheek till your left eye gradually twists round to a new 
position close beside its right neighbor, while your mouth still con- 
tinues to open in the middle of your face as before, and you will have 
some faint comparative picture of the personal evolution of an infant 
sole. Only you must, of course, remember that this curious result of 
hereditary squinting, transmitted in unbroken order through so many 
generations, is greatly facilitated by the cartilaginous nature of the 
skull in young flat-fish. 

When once the young sole has taken permanently to lying on his 
left side, he is no longer able to swim vertically ; he can only wriggle 
along sidewise on the bottom, with a peculiarly slow, sinuous, and un- 
dulating motion. In fact, it would be a positive disadvantage to him 
to show himself in the upper waters, and for this very purpose Nature, 
with her usual foresight, has deprived him altogether of a swim-blad- 
der, by whose aid most other fishes constantly regulate their specific 
gravity, so as to rise or sink at will in the surrounding medium. Some 
people may indeed express surprise at learning that fish know anything 
at all about specific gravity ; but as they probably manage the altera- 
tion quite unconsciously, just as we ourselves move our limbs without 
ever for a moment reflecting that we are pulling on the flexor or ex- 
tensor muscles, this objection may fairly be left unanswered. 

The way in which Nature has worked in depriving the sole of a 
swim-bladder is no doubt the simple and popular one of natural selec- 


tion ; in other words, she has managed it by the soles with swim-blad- 
ders being always promptly devoured. Originally, we may well sup- 
pose, the ancestral sole, before he began to be a sole at all (if I may 
be permitted that frank Hibernicism), possessed this useful aerostatic 
oreaii iust like all other kinds of fishes. But when once he took to 
larking on the bottom and trying to pass himself off as merely a bit 
of the surrounding sand-bank, the article in question would obviously 
be disadvantageous to him under his altered circumstances. A bit of 
the sand-bank which elevates itself vertically in the water on a couple 
of side-fins is sure to attract the unfavorable attention of the neigh- 
boring dog-fish, who love soles like human epicures. Accordingly, 
every aspiring sole that ever sought to rise in the world with undue 
levity was sure to be snapped up by a passing foe, who thus effectually 
prevented it from passing on its own peculiar aspirations and swim- 
bladder to future generations. On the other hand, the unaspiring 
soles that hugged the bottom and were content to flounder along con- 
tentedly sidewise, instead of assuming the perpendicular, for the sake 
of appearances, at the peril of their lives, lived and flourished to a good 
old age, and left many successive relays of spawn to continue their 
kind in later ages. The swim-bladder would thus gradually atrophy 
from disuse, just as always happens in the long run with practically 
functionless and obsolete organs. The modern sole bears about per- 
petually in his own person the mark of his unenergetic and sluggish 

At the same time that the young sole, setting up in life on his own 
account, begins to lie on his left side only, and acquires his adult ob- 
liquity of vision, another singular and closely correlated change begins 
to affect his personal appearance. He started in life, you will remem- 
ber, as a transj^arent body ; and this transparency is commonly found 
in a great many of the earliest and lowest vertebrate organisms. Pro- 
fessor Ray Lankester, indeed, who is certainly far enough from being 
a fanciful or imaginative person, has shown some grounds for believ- 
ing that our earliest recognizable ancestor, the primitive vertebrate? 
now best represented by that queer little mud-fish, the lancelet, as well 
as by the too famous and much-abused ascidian larva, was himself 
perfectly translucent. One result of this ancient transparency we still 
carry about with us in our own organization. The eye of man and of 
other higher animals, instead of being a modification of the skin (as is 
the case with the organ of vision in invertebrates generally), consists 
essentially of a sort of bag or projection from the brain, turned inside 
out like the finger of a glove, and made by a very irregular arrange- 
ment to reach at last the outside of the face. In the act of being 
formed, the human eye in fact buds out from the body of the brain, 
and gradually elongates itself upon a sort of stalk or handle, afterward 
known as the optic nerve. Professor Lankester suggests, as a proba- 
ble explanation of this quaint and apparently rather roundabout ar- 


rangement, that our primitive ancestor was as clear as glass, and had 
his eye inside his brain, as is still the case with the ascidian larva. As 
soon as his descendants began to grow opaque, the eye was forced to 
push itself outward, so as to reach the surface of the body ; and thus 
at last, we may imagine, it came to occupy its present prominent posi- 
tion on the full front of all vertebrate animals. 

To return to our sole, however, whom I have left too long waiting 
in the sand to undergo his next transformation : as soon as he has 
selected a side on which to lie, he begins to grow dark, and a pigment- 
ary matter forms itself on the upper surface exposed to the light. 
This is a very common effect of exposure, sufficiently familiar to ladies 
and others, and therefore hardly calling for deliberate explanation. 
But the particular form which the coloring takes in the true sole and 
in various other kinds of flat-fish is very characteristic, and its origin 
is one of the most interesting illustrations of, natural selection to be 
found within the whole range of animated nature. In every case it 
exactly resembles the coloration of the ground on which the particular 
species habitually reposes. For example, the edible sole lies always 
on sandy banks, and the spots upon its surface are so precisely similar 
to the sand around it that in an aquarium, even when you actually 
know from the label that there is a sole to be found in a particular 
tank, you can hardly ever manage to spot him as long as he lies per- 
fectly quiet on the uniform bottom. Turbot, on the other hand, which 
prefers a more irregular pebbly bed, is darker brown in color, and has 
the body covered on its upper side with little bony tubercles, which 
closely simulate the uneven surface of the banks on which it basks. 
The plaice, again, a lover of open, stony spots, where small shingle 
of various sorts is collected together in variegated masses, has its top 
side beautifully dappled with orange-red spots, which assimilate it in 
hue to the party-colored ledges whereon it rests. In this last case the 
brighter dabs of color undoubtedly represent the bits of carnelian and 
other brilliant pebbles, whose tints of course are far more distinct 
when seen in water by refracted light than when looked at dry in the 
white and common daylight. "We all know how much prettier peb- 
bles always seem when picked up wet on the sea-shore than under any 
other circumstances. 

Some few flat-fish even possess the chameleon power of altering 
their color, in accordance with the nature of the bottom on which they 
are lying. The change is managed by pressing outward or inward 
certain layers of pigment-cells, whose combination produces the de- 
sired hues. 

The origin of this protective coloration must once more be set down 
to that deus ex machind of modern biology, natural selection. In the 
beginning, those flat-fish which happened to be more or less spotted 
and speckled would be most likely to escape the notice of their ever- 
watchful and rapacious foes ; while those which were uniformly 


colored brown or gray, and still more those which were actually black 
or light pink, would be at once spotted, snapped up, and devoured. 
Hence in every generation the ever- surviving sole or turbot was the 
one whose spots happened most closely to harmonize with the general 
coloration of the surrounding bottom. As these survivors would alone 
intermarry and bring up future families of like-minded habits, it would 
naturally result that the coloration would become fixed and settled as 
a hereditary type in each particular species. Meanwhile, the eyes of 
the enemies of flat-fish, ever on the lookout for a nice juicy plaice or 
flounder, would become educated by experience, and would grow 
sharper and ever sharper in detecting the flimsy pretenses of insuffi- 
ciently imitative or irregularly colored individuals. Natural selection 
means in this case selection by the hungry jaws of starving dog-fish. 
When once the intelligent dog-fish has learned to appreciate the fact 
that all is not sand that looks sandy, you may be sure he exercises a 
most vigilant superintendence over every bank he happens to come 
upon. None but the most absolutely indistinguishable soles are at all 
likely to escape his interested scrutiny. 

The mere nature of the bottom upon which they lie has thus helped 
to become a differentiating agency for the various species and varieties 
of flat-fish. Soles, which easily enough avoid detection on the sandy 
flats, would soon be spotted and exterminated among the pebbly ridges 
beloved of plaice, or the shingly ledge especially affected by the 
rough-knobbed turbot. Flounders, whose coloring exactly adapts 
them to the soft ooze and shallow mud-banks at the mouths of rivers, 
would prove quite out of place on the deep pools of the channel, cov- 
ered with pale-yellow sand, where the pretty lemon sole is most at 
home. In the case of the true sole, too, the long, graceful, sinuous 
fringe of fins is so arranged that it can fit accurately to the surface on 
which the fish is lying, and so add in a great measure to the appear- 
ance of continuity with the neighboring sands. A sole, settling down 
on a ribbed patch of sand, can thus accommodate its shape to the 
underlying undulations, so that it is almost impossible to distinguish 
its outline, even when you know exactly where to look for it. Soles 
are very clever at choosing such deceptive hiding-places, and very 
seldom openly expose themselves on a flat horizontal surface. More- 
over, whenever they settle, they take care partially to bury themselves 
in the sand, with a curious sidelong flapping motion, and so still more 
effectually screen themselves from intending observers. 

I may note in passing that such correspondence in color with the 
general hue of the surrounding medium is especially common wherever 
a single tone predominates largely in the wider aspect of nature. 
Arctic animals, as everybody knows, are always white. Ptarmigan 
and northern hares put on a snowy coat among the snows of winter. 
The uncommercial stoat needlessly transforms himself on the approach 
of cold weather into the expensive and much -persecuted ermine. 


Imagine for a moment the chances of life possessed by a bright scarlet 
animal among the snow-fields of Greenland, and one can see at once 
the absolute necessity for this unvarying protective coloration. Even 
a royal duke would scarcely venture to approve of flaring red uniforms 
under such conditions. All the conspicuous creatures get immediately 
weeded out by their carnivorous enemies, owing to their too great 
obtrusiveness and loudness of dress ; while those alone survive which 
exactly conform to the fashionable whiteness of external nature. So, 
too, in the desert every bird, lizard, grasshopper, butterfly, and cricket 
is uniformly dressed in light sand-color. The intrusive red or blue 
butterfly from neighboring flowery fields gets promptly eaten up by 
the local bird, whose plumage he can not distinguish from the sand 
around it. The intrusive scarlet or green bird from neighboring 
forests finds the bread taken out of his mouth by the too severe com- 
petition of his desert brethren, who can steal upon the native grass- 
hoppers unperceived, while he himself acts upon them like a red dan- 
ger-signal, and is as sedulously avoided by the invisible insects as if 
he meant intentionally to advertise in flaming posters his own hostile 
and destructive purpose. 

In short, sand-haunting creatures are and always must be neces- 
sarily sand-colored. 

A few tropical flat-fish, however, living as they do among the brill- 
iant corals, pink sea-anemones, gorgeous holothurians, and banded 
shells of the Southern seas, are beautifully and vividly spotted and 
colored with the liveliest patterns. In this case the necessity for pro- 
tection compels the fish to adopt the exactly opposite tactics. All 
those young beginners which happen to show any tendency to plain 
brown coloring are sure to be recognized as fish, and get promptly 
eaten up among their bright surroundings ; only those which look 
most like the neighboring inedible and stinging nondescripts stand 
any chance of escaping with their precious lives. A Quaker garb 
which would easily pass unobserved in the murky English Channel 
would become at once conspicuous by contrast among the brilliant 
organisms of Amboyna or Tahiti. This beautifully proves the rela- 
tivity of all things, as philosophers put it. Ordinary people express 
the same idea in simpler language by saying that circumstances alter 

Most of our English flat-fish lie consistently on one side, and that 
the left ; they keep their right eye always uppermost. But the tur- 
bot and the brill reverse this arrangement, having the left side on top 
and colored, while the right side is below and white. Two other fish, 
known as the fluke and the megrim, but not received in polite society, 
follow the example of their fashionable friends in this respect. But in 
no case are these habits perfectly ingrained ; now and then one meets 
with a left-sided sole or a right-sided turbot, which looks as though a 
great deal were left to the mere taste and fancy of the individual flat- 
vol. xxix. 8 


fish. Some have taken to lying most frequently on one side and some 
on the other ; but it is interesting to note that when a normally right- 
sided individual has happened to lie with his left side uppermost that 
side becomes colored and distorted exactly the same as in his more cor- 
rect brethren. This shows how purely acquired the whole habit must 
be. It points back clearly to the days when flat-fish were still merely 
a sort of cod, and suggests that their transformation into the un sym- 
metrical condition is merely a matter of deliberate choice on their own 
part. Indeed, there seems good reason to believe that many young 
flat-fish never undergo this change at all, but swimming about freely 
in the open sea assume that peculiarly elongated and strange form 
known as the leptocephalic. 

I don't mean to say that all leptocephali are originally the offspring 
of flat-fishes, but some probably are ; and so a word or two about these 
monstrous oceanic idiots and imbeciles may not be here out of place. 

Lolling about lazily in the open ocean a number of small, long, rib- 
bon-like fish are frequently found, quite transparent and glassy in ap- 
pearance, with no head at all to speak of, but furnished with a pair of 
big eyes close beside the tiny snout. They are languid, boneless, worm- 
like creatures, very gelatinous in substance, and looking much like pel- 
lucid eels without the skin on. For a long time these leptocephali (as 
they are called) were supposed to be a peculiar class of fishes, but they 
are now known to be young fry of various shore-haunting kinds, which 
have drifted out into the open ocean, and had their development per- 
manently arrested for want of the natural environment. They are in 
fact fish idiots, and though they grow in size they never attain real 
maturity. If, as some authorities believe, many of these queer idiotic 
forms really represent stray flat-fish, then their symmetrical develop- 
ment once more points back to the happy days when the ancestral sole 
still swam upright, with one eye on each side of his head, instead of 
being distorted into a sort of aggravated squinter. 

Besides the " reversed " specimens of soles and turbots right-sided 
when they ought to be left-sided, and vice versa occasional double or 
ambidextrous individuals occur, in which the dark color is equally de- 
veloped on both sides of the body. Whether these impartial flat-fish 
are in the habit of turning over in their beds whether they represent 
the uneasy sleepers of pleuronectid circles or otherwise I am not in a 
position to state ; but probably they are produced under circumstances 
where both sides have been frequently exposed to the action of light, 
which seems to have a sort of photographic effect upon the pigments 
of the fish's body. Everybody knows in fact that the upper side or 
back of most ordinary fish, exposed as it is to the sunlight, is darker 
than the lower side or belly ; and this natural result of the solar rays 
has indirectly a protective effect, because when you look down into 
the water from above it appears dark, whereas when you look up from 
below the surface appears bright and shining ; so that a fish is less 


likely to be observed (and eaten) if his back is dark and his under-sur- 
face white and silvery. 

Albino soles are far rarer than doubles, and seldom occur except 
in very young and foolish specimens. Naturally an albino forms an 
exceptionally sure mark for his enemies to hawk at, and he is there- 
fore usually devoured at an early stage of his unhappy existence, be- 
fore he has time to develop properly into a good specimen. For the 
same reason adult white rabbits are very rare in the wild state, because 
they form such excellent targets for owls in their early infancy. Rab- 
bits, when tamed, as we all know, tend to " sport " in color to a sur- 
prising extent ; but this tendency is repressed in the wild condition 
by the selective action of the common owl, which promptly picks off 
every rabbit that does not harmonize well in the dusk of evening with 
the bracken and furze among whose stalks it feeds. 

All the flat-fish are carnivorous. They live chiefly off cockles and 
other mollusks, off lugs, and lob-worms, or off small shrimp-like creat- 
ures and other crustaceans. In summer-time soles resort to banks and 
shallow spots near the mouths of rivers to deposit their spawn. They 
are obliged to do this in shallow waters, because, like most other fish, 
they are very unnatural mothers, and leave the sun to do the whole 
work of hatching for them. To be sure, there are some few right- 
minded fish which take a proper view of their parental responsibilities, 
such as the pipe-fishes, which carry about their unhatched eggs in a 
bag, sometimes borne by the affectionate mother, but oftener still by 
the good father, a perfect model to his human confreres. Or again, 
the familiar little stickleback, who builds a regular nest for the recep- 
tion of the spawn, and positively sits upon it like a hen, at the same 
time waving his fins vigorously backward and forward so as to keep 
up a good supply of oxygen. But soles and most other fish consider 
that their parental duties are quite at an end as soon as they have de- 
posited their spawn in safety on a convenient sunny shallow. 

This fact produces a sort of annual migration among the soles and 
other flat-fish. In spring, when all nature is beginning to wake up 
from its winter sleep, the soles seek the shoal water, which forms their 
spawning-ground ; and, therefore, in April, May, June, and July, the 
British sole is chiefly trolled for off the Dogger Bank and the other 
great submerged flats of the North Sea. But when November comes 
on again the soles once more retire for the season into winter quarters 
in the deep water for the purpose of hibernating during the foodless 
period. The North Sea soles (in whose habits and manners the Lon- 
don public is most profoundly interested) generally resort for their 
long snooze to a deep depression known as the Silver Pits, lying close 
beside the Dogger Bank. These Silver Pits are so called because 
when they were first discovered (about the year 1843) they formed a 
sort of Big Bonanza for the lucky fishermen who originally resorted 
to them. There the soles lay, huddled together for the sake of warmth, 


like herrings in a barrel, thousands arid thousands of them, one on top 
of the other, a solid mass of living and sleeping solehood, only waiting 
for the adventurous fisherman to pull them up and take them to mar- 
ket. Man, treacherous man, crept upon their peaceful slumber una- 
wares, and proceeded, like Macbeth, to murder sleep wholesale in the 
most unjustifiable and relentless manner. He dropped his lines into 
the Silver Pits the water there is too deep for dredging and hauled 
up the hapless drowsy creatures literally by the thousand till he had 
half exhausted the accumulated progeny of ages. The Silver Pits are 
still excellent winter fishing-grounds, but never again will they yield 
such immense fortunes as they did at the moment of their first ex- 

In 1848, when the California gold-fever was at its very height, 
some other lucky smack-owners hit upon a second deposit of solid 
soles, lying in layers on a small tract of coarse bottom near Flambor- 
ough Head, where they retired to hibernate, perhaps, in consequence 
of the hard treatment they had received in the Silver Pits. This new 
El Dorado of the fishing industry was appropriately nicknamed Cali- 
fornia, because it proved for the time being a very mine of gold to its 
fortunate discoverers. But, like the prototypal California on the Pa- 
cific coast, its natural wealth was soon exhausted ; and, though it still 
yields a fair proportion of fish, its golden days are now fairly over. 

Driven from the banks and pits by their incessant enemy, the 
trawler, the poor soles have now taken to depositing their spawn on 
the rough, rocky ground where the fishermen dare not follow them for 
fear of breaking their nets against the jagged ledges. These rocky 
spots are known as sanctuaries, and if it were not for them it is highly 
probable that sole au gratin would soon become an extinct animal on 
our London dinner-tables. Even to the sanctuaries, however, they are 
rudely followed, as Professor Huxley has shown, by their hereditary 
fishy foes, who eat the spawn, and so deprive the world of myriads 
upon myriads of unborn soles, consigned before their time to dull ob- 
livion. Formerly, fishermen used to throw away these useless fish 
when caught ; in future, they have strict orders from the inspectors 
of fisheries to kill them all wherever found. 

However, even the remnant left by all enemies put together is 
quite sufficient to repeople the waters with a pleuronectid population 
with extraordinary rapidity. The fecundity of fish is indeed some- 
thing almost incredible. The eggs of soles are extremely small 
not so big as a grain of mustard-seed and the roe of a one-pound 
fish usually contains as many as one hundred and thirty-four thou- 
sand of them. Turbot are even more surprisingly prolific : Frank 
Buckland was acquainted with one whose roe weighed five pounds 
nine ounces, and contained no less than fourteen million and odd 
eggs. It is a sad reflection that not more than one of these, on an 
average, ever lives to reach maturity. For if only two survived in 


each case the number of turbot in the sea next year would be double 
what it is this ; the year after that there would be four times as 
many ; the next year eight times again ; and so on in a regular arith- 
metical progression. In a very few decades the whole sea would be- 
come one living mass of solid turbot. As a matter of fact, since the 
number of individuals in any given species remains on the average 
exactly constant, we may lay it down as a general rule that only two 
young usually survive to maturity out of all those born or laid by a 
single pair of parents. All the rest are simply produced in order to 
provide for the necessary loss in infant mortality. The turbot lays 
fourteen million eggs, well knowing that thirteen million nine hun- 
dred and ninety-nine thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine will be 
eaten up in the state of spawn or devoured by enemies in helpless in- 
fancy, or drifted out to sea and hopelessly lost, or otherwise somehow 
unaccounted for. The fewer the casualties to which a race is exposed 
the smaller the number of eggs or young which it needs to produce in 
order to cover the necessary losses. 

In fish generally it takes at least a hundred thousand eggs each 
year to keep up the average of the species. In frogs and other am- 
phibians, a few hundred are amply sufficient. Reptiles often lay only 
a much smaller number. In birds, which hatch their own eggs and 
feed their young, from ten to two eggs per annum are quite sufficient 
to replenish the earth. Among mammals, three or four at a birth is 
a rare number, and many of the larger sorts produce one calf or foal 
at a time only. In the human race at large, a total of five or six 
children for each married couple during a whole lifetime makes up 
sufficiently for infant mortality and all other sources of loss, though 
among utter savages a far higher rate is usually necessary. In Eng- 
land, an average of four and a half children to each family suffices to 
keep the population stationary ; above that number it begins to in- 
crease, and has to find an outlet in emigration. If every family had 
four children, and every child grew up to maturity and married, the 
population would exactly double in every generation. Even making 
allowances for necessary deaths and celibacy, however, I believe that 
as sanitation improves and needless infant mortality is done away 
with, the human race will finally come to a state of equilibrium with 
an average of three children to each household. But this is getting 
very far away indeed from the habits of flat-fishes. Cornhill Maga- 



A SKETCH of Francis Galton may appear with manifest fitness 
in the same number of the " Monthly " in which is published an 
abstract review of M. de Candolle's researches into heredity and the 
other conditions favorable to the production of men of science. Mr. 


Galton is also a painstaking and intelligent investigator of the opera- 
tions of heredity ; he has made special studies of the family histories 
of English men of science ; and presents in himself a bright example 
of the hereditary transmission of intellectual gifts. 

Francis Galton is a grandson of Dr. Erasmus Darwin, the famous 
author of " ZoOnomia," and a cousin of the illustrious author of the 
" Origin of Species." He is the third and youngest son of S. T. Galton, 
of Duddeston, near Birmingham, and was born in 1822. He received 
his preparatory education at King Edward's School near Birmingham ; 
studied medicine at the Birmingham Hospital and King's College, 
London ; and was graduated at Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1844. 
He afterward made two journeys in Africa, the first of which, begun 
in 1846, was in the northern part of the continent and on the White 
Nile, through regions which were then rarely visited ; and the second 
in the western regions of South Africa, on which he started from Wal- 
fish Bay in 1850. Among the fruits of this journey was the book, 
" Narrative of an Explorer in Tropical South Africa." He also re- 
ceived, on account of it, the gold medal of the Royal Geographical 
Society, of which he has since been an active member and efficient 
officer. He published in 1855 a book on the "Art of Travel, or 
Shifts and Contrivances in Wild Countries," which has gone through 
numerous editions, and still holds its place in the markets. His 
" Meteorographica," published in 1863, was the first attempt to repre- 
sent in charts on a large scale the progress of the elements of the 
weather. From his studies in connection with the preparation of this 
work was developed the theory of anti-cylones, which was first pro- 
pounded by him. A committee of the Board of Trade having been ap- 
pointed, after the death of Admiral Fitzroy in 1865, to examine into the 
past and future duties and administration of the Meteorological Office, 
Mr. Galton was placed upon it at the instance of the Royal Society. He 
is now a member of the Council, to whose hands the parliamentary 
grant for the maintenance of the Meteorological Office is intrusted. 

Mr. Galton is best known by his researches, which have been 
many, varied, and valuable. His journeys, and the books which he 
based upon them, stamp him a geographical explorer of no low or 
mediocre rank. His work in the Meteorological Office has been suffi- 
cient in itself to give him a high and extensive reputation. But all 
that he has done in these two branches has been surpassed, and we 
might say obscured, by his later researches in the laws of heredity and 
the growth of genius, and in anthropological measurements. Apper- 
taining to Mr. Galton's studies on heredity are his paper on Pangenesis, 
read before the Royal Society in March, 1871, in which he drew, from 
his experiments on the transfusion of blood in rabbits and their after- 
breeding, conclusions adverse to Mr. Darwin's theory on that subject, 
and which became the topic of a correspondence between Mr. Darwin, 
himself, and Dr. Beale in the columns of " Nature " ; his researches into 


the laws of blood-relationship, communicated in a paper to the Royal 
Society in June, 1872 ; and the inquiries which are represented in his 
books on " Hereditary Genius, its Laws and Consequences " (1869) ; 
"English Men of Science ; their Nature and Nurture" (1874) ; and 
"Inquiries into Human Faculty and its Development" (1883). 

In the lecture on " Blood-Relationship " he sought to analyze and 
describe the complicated relation that binds an individual, hereditarily, 
to his parents and to his brothers, and therefore, by an extension of 
similar links, to his more distant kinsfolk. By these means he hoped 
to set forth the doctrines of heredity in a more orderly and explicit 
manner than was otherwise practicable. " From the well-known cir- 
cumstance," he said, " that an individual may transmit to his descend- 
ants ancestral qualities which he does not himself possess, we are 
assured that they could not have been altogether destroyed in him, 
but must have maintained their existence in a latent form. Therefore 
each individual may properly be conceived as consisting of two parts, 
one of which is latent and only known to us by its effects on his pos- 
terity, while the other is patent and constitutes the person manifest to 
our senses. The adjacent, and, in a broad sense, separate lines of 
growth in which the patent and latent elements are situated, diverge 
from a common group and converge to a common contribution, be- 
cause they were both evolved out of elements contained in a structure- 
less ovum, and they jointly contribute the elements which form the 
structureless ova of their offspring. . . . The observed facts of rever- 
sion enable us to prove that the latent elements must be greatly more 
varied than those that are personal or patent." An elaboration of this 
view, and a more detailed examination of the phenomena caused the 
author " to be impressed with the fallacy of reckoning inheritance in 
the usual way, from parents to offspring, using those words in their 
popular sense of visible personalities. The span of the true hereditary 
link connects, not the parent with the offspring, but the primary ele- 
ments of the two, such as they existed in the newly impregnated ova 
whence they were respectively developed." In conclusion, he recorded 
as one result of the investigation, a very clear showing that "large 
variation in individuals from their parents is not incompatible with 
the strict doctrine of heredity, but is a consequence of it wherever the 
breed is impure. I am desirous of applying these considerations to 
the intellectual and moral gifts of the human race, which is more 
mongrelized than that of any other domesticated animal. It has been 
thought by some that the fact of children showing marked individual 
variation in ability from that of their parents is a proof that intellectual 
and moral gifts are not strictly transmitted by inheritance. My argu- 
ments lead to exactly the opposite result. I show that their great indi- 
vidual variation is a necessity under present conditions, and I maintain 
that results derived from large averages are all that can be required, 
and all we could expect to obtain, to prove that intellectual and moral 


gifts are as strictly matters of inheritance as any purely physical quali- 


In 1874 Mr. Galton published his " English Men of Science ; their 
Nature and Nurture." It was a summary of the results which he had 
obtained from inquiries addressed to the most eminent scientific men 
of England, respecting the hereditary and other circumstances which 
mio-ht have been influential in directing them toward the careers in 
which they shone, and promoting their success in them. His criterion, 
in selecting men as typical for his purpose, was somewhat like that 
which M. de Candolle adopted. He took persons who had been 
elected to the Royal Society, and of them those who had been other- 
wise distinguished by receiving medals, or by holding official positions 
in scientific bodies or professorships in some important college or uni- 
versity. One hundred and eighty men were questioned for facts con- 
cerning their parentage and descent, the religious opinions, occupa- 
tions, political party, health, stature, complexion, temperament, size of 
head, and a great many other particular facts concerning their parents 
and themselves ; regarding their brothers and sisters, and their salient 
characteristics ; the numbers and principal achievements of more dis- 
tant relatives, grandparents, uncles and aunts, cousins, nephews and 
nieces ; and the mode and duration of the education of the questioned 
scientific man himself, with an analysis of the causes of success of 
which he was conscious. 

From the replies to these inquiries it appeared that the chief quali- 
ties in the order of their prevalence among scientific men were, en- 
ergy, both of body and mind ; good health ; great independence of 
character ; tenacity of purpose ; practical business habits ; and strong 
innate tastes for science generally, or for some branch of it. 

The replies respecting the special experience in education of the 
men addressed exhibited a striking unanimity, notwithstanding the 
diversity of branches of science which they severally pursued. They 
commonly expressed a hatred of grammar and the classics, and an 
utter distaste for the old-fashioned system of education. " The fol- 
lowing seems the programme they themselves would have most liked : 
1. Mathematics, rigorously taught up to their capacity, and copiously 
illustrated and applied, so as to throw as much interest into its pur- 
suit as possible ; 2. Logic ; 3. Some branch of science (observation, 
theory, and experiment), some boys taking one branch and some an- 
other, to insure variety of interests under the same roof ; 4. Accurate 
drawing of objects connected with that branch of science ; 5. Mechan- 
ical handiwork. All these to be rigorously taught. The following 
not to be taught rigorously : reading good books (not trashy ones) 
in literature, history, and art ; a moderate knowledge of the more 
useful languages, taught in the easiest way, probably by going abroad 
in vacations. It is abundantly evident that the leading men of sci- 
ence have not. been made by much or regular teaching. They craved 


variety. Those who had it, praised it ; and those who had it not, 
concurred in regretting it. There were none who had the old-fash- 
ioned high-and-dry education who were satisfied with it. Those who 
came from the greater schools usually did nothing there, and have 
abused the system heartily." 

In 1877, as Vice President of the Anthropological Department of 
the British Association, Mr. Galton described a method of accurately 
measuring mental processes, such as sensation, volition, the formation 
of elementary judgments, and the estimation of numbers ; suggested 
means, by the aid of photography, of studying the physiognomy of 
the criminal and other special classes of men ; and discussed the sub- 
ject of heredity in crime. In the address in which these thoughts were 
conveyed he suggested that there were no worthier professors of the 
branch of anthropology that relates to types, of character " than the 
writers of the higher works of fiction, who are ever on the watch to 
discriminate varieties of character, and who have the art of describing 
them. It would, I think, be a valuable service to anthropology if 
some person well versed in literature were to compile a volume of 
extracts from novels and plays that should illustrate the prevalent 
types of human character and temperament." Carrying out the ideas 
of this address to a further extent, he discussed, in a paper read before 
the Anthropological Institute in 1878, the system of taking composite 
portraits, by combining the portraits of several individuals distin- 
guished by possessing some common quality into a single portrait 
which might be considered as typical of that quality personified. As 
among the possible practical applications of this system, he suggested 
that " it might be used to give typical pictures of different races of 
men ; to construct a really good likeness of a living person by the 
combination of several likenesses of the ordinary sort ; to produce, 
from many independent portraits of an historical personage, the most 
probable likeness of him ; and, lastly, an application of great interest 
in inquiries into the hereditary transmission of features." 

Among the later investigations of Mr. Galton is an interesting 
one on " Visualized Numerals," regarding a faculty which very many 
persons have been proved to possess, of forming, when any number is 
mentioned or thought of, vivid conceptions of the figures constituting 
the number as projected before them or standing plainly out in the air. 

Since 1875 Mr. Galton has been engaged in active investigations, 
with the Anthropometric Committee of the British Association, of the 
heights, weights, etc., of human beings in the British Empire, and in 
obtaining photographic representations of the typical races. 

Mr. Galton was General Secretary of the British Association from 
1863 to 1868 ; was President of its Geographical Section in 1862 and 
1872, of the Anthropological Sub-section in 1877, and of the An- 
thropological Section in 1885 ; and he has been Vice-President of the 
Royal Geographical and Anthropological Societies, and a member of 
the councils of many other bodies. 




Messrs. Editors: 

Popular Science Monthly " for Decem- 
ber, that " flying-fish are incapable of flying, 
for the simple reason that the muscles of 
their pectoral fins are not large enough to 
bear the weight of their body aloft in the 

If they are incapable of flying, then they 
do not fly ; so there's the end on't. But, if 
they really do fly, they are capable of flying ; 
and the argument is as good in this case as 
in that. In both we must look to the facts. 

Passing out of the harbor of San Pedro 
one day, the steamer came into a schoo 1 of 
fish. Being the first I had ever seen, I 
watched thorn with great interest. Their 
flight was often several hundred feet far- 
ther than a strong man can throw a stone 
describing a gentle curve at its highest part 
only a few feet above the water. The ve- 
locity was nearly uniform, gently accelerated 
for a few seconds after leaving the water, 
and correspondingly retarded before enter- 
ing it again.. 

Now, every one of these facts is incon- 
sistent with the single-impulse hypothesis. 
It is simply impossible that a fish could ac- 
quire under water, or just at leaving it, a 
velocity that could carry it so far after pass- 
ing into the air. The resistance of water 
against a body moving rapidly is so great 
that a bullet soon spends its force when 
passing into it. To suppose that a fish 
could strike the water with its fins with 
such force as to carry it several hundred 
feet in the air, is to suppose an unsup- 
posable case ; and certainly to refute the 
charge that " the muscles of their pectoral 
fins are not large enough" for flight. A 
stone thrown from the hand describes a 
parabolic curve. The fish moves nearlv 
horizontally. The initial impulse must be 
immensely greater that could carry it, with- 
out any apparent falling, several hundred 
feet so great that no strength of muscle 
could be equal to it. Again, the resistance 
of the air can not be inconsiderable, and the 
velocity of flight, if acquired from a single 
impulse, should be retarded from the mo- 
ment of leaving the water ; but, as before 
stated, the contrary is true. It does not 
always move in a straight line ; but this 
could be true on either hypothesis, the fish 
using the tail-fin as a rudder. The distance 
of flight, the nearly horizonal line described, 
and the nearly uniform velocity, would be 
simply impossible on the single-impulse hy- 

pothesis, but are entirely consistent with 
the supposition that the fish actually flies. 

The pectoral fins of the flying-fish are 
very large, and shaped like the wings of a 
bird. Their motion, while in the air, is that 
of flying, not of mere fluttering. 

Possibly the above facts may be of some 
use in settling the reputation of the flying- 
fish. Isaac Kinlet. 
Los Angeles, California. 

Messrs. Editors : 

Pcblic attention having been largely 
drawn to Professor Huxley's article on " The 
Interpreters of Genesis and the Interpreters 
of Nature" (republished in "The Popular 
Science Monthly " for February), I ask the 
privilege of saying a few words, in reply to 
that portion of his paper which particularly 
interests believers in the Bible. No doubt 
but he is right as to the order of life set forth 
by Mr. Gladstone. I think, too, he is justi- 
fied, at least to some extent, in his protest 
against the readiness of " reconcilers " to 
change their explanations, and to force new 
meanings on the Hebrew to meet the exi- 
gencies of science. 

After his protest, Professor Huxley turns 
from Mr. Gladstone to what he supposes to 
be the story in Genesis. Of course, we 
turn to our Bibles to see for ourselves. I 
think every opponent of revelation will 
agree that it is fair to try the story, not 
by what others have said, but by its own 
words. And I would propose as a suffi- 
ciently severe working hypothesis the fol- 
lowing rule of interpretation : TJie siory 
means what it says, We shall not add to it 
nor take from it, and its uords shall be taken 
each in its ordinary sense as determined by 
lexicon and grammar. As a corollary, I 
add, the account is not responsible for what 
its friends or foes have said it says unless 
it be found there; and that omission is not 
denial. Tins rule seems rigid enough to re- 
move the reproach of Professor Huxley in his 
New York lecture " One can but admire 
the flexibility of the Hebrew language." 
The third proposition of Professor Huxley's 
paper, "the central idea of this story, the 
maintenance of which is vital, and its refu- 
tation fatal," that on w hich they the 
theologians " are surely prepared to make 
a last stand," is this : " The animal species 
which compose the water-population, the 
air -population, and the land -population, 
originated during three distinct and succes- 



sive periods of time, and only during these 
periods of time." 

Although Professor Huxley does not 
speak of vegetation, yet, undoubtedly, he 
would include it also in his statement, and 
therefore I venture to bring that, too, into 
the discussion, and add, in accordance with 
his central idea : The species which compose 
the present vegetable kingdom originated 
in one distinct period of time preceding the 
three animal populations, and only in that 
one period of time. 

As this " central idea " certainly has no 
existence in science, the only question of 
interest is : Does it exist in Genesis ; or is 
it an interpolation of Professor Huxley's ; 
or, rather, is it an unfounded tradition 
which he has too readily adopted ? I read 
in Genesis i that at a certain time the earth 
" brought forth grass, the herb yielding seed, 
and the fruit-tree bearing fruit whose seed 
is in it." * Professor Huxley's central idea 
adds, " And there were no plants before 
these." The first is true, the last is false. 

Again, I read that at a certain time the 
waters swarmed with water-creatures, amomr 
which were " whales," and every kind of 
moving creature, which the waters brought 
forth abundantly, and fowls that were to fly 
in the air. That is all, and it is true. But 
Professor Huxley's central idea adds, "And 
before whales and fowl there was no form 
of animal life," an addition which is false. 

Further on I read that, subsequent to the 
plants and animals named, the earth brought 
forth cattle, beasts, and creeping things. 
This also is true. Professor Huxley's " cen- 
tral idea" adds, "And before them there 
were no land-animals of any kind." Another 

Where the account is simply silent, Pro- 
fessor Huxley fills the hiatus, and then says, 
in substance: How unworthy of scientific 
notice ; how false three statements in a 
few lines, important ones too, which every 
geologist knows are not true ! It is clear 
that the story is a myth. 

It may be said True, Moses does de- 
scribe modern species, but here is where 
his error lies. He intended to describe the 
beginning of organic life, and, instead, has 
described only the latest. If so, he built 
more wisely than he knew. Intending to 
state what geologists now know would have 
been false, he has, in fact, stated what they 
know to be true. It seems to me that his 
intention was to say that all things were 
made by God, and, looking around on the 
universe, he names what he saw the heav- 
ens, the light, the firmament, the land and 
seas, the sun, moon, and stars, the vege- 
table and animal world then in existence. 

* Eevised Version says, v. 12 : "And the earth 
brought forth grass, herb yielding seed after its 
kind and tree bearing fruit, wherein is the seed 
thereof after its kind." 

These, or rather their coming into being, he 
names in a certain order. All, save the last 
two, are not mentioned in Professor Hux- 
ley's article, but they are the basis of his 
indictment ; it is therefore eminently proper 
to see what are the facts of our world's his- 
tory pertaining to the advent of life, and 
how they accord with the three statements 
in Genesis. 

" The following propositions " I quote 
from Professor Huxley's tenth " Lay Ser- 
mon" " are regarded by the mass of pale- 
ontologists as expressing some of the best- 
established results of paleontology " : 

" Animals and plants began their exist- 
ence together, and these succeeded each 
other in such a manner that totally dis- 
tinct faunae and flora; occupied the whole 
surface of the earth, one after the other, 
and during distinct epochs of time. 

" A geological fauna or flora is the sum 
of all the species of animals or plants which 
occupied the surface of the globe during 
one of the epochs." 

I add : a geological horizon * is the sum 
of all the species of plants and animals of 
one of those epochs. There were many 
horizons as many as epochs. Professor 
Dana makes upward of fifty (" Manual of 
Geology," pp. 142, 143). I note a few which 
are of peculiar importance, either in them- 
selves or in relation to this account. 

In the earliest are found traces of ma- 
rine plants only, and of the lowest forms of 
animal life (an Archaean horizon). 

In another, perhaps a million years later, 
radiates, mollusks, and articulates are found, 
while sea-weeds are the highest type of 

Another million or so of years brings us 
to the Upper Silurian, where are found a 
few land-plants, but among them no fruit- 

Another vast stretch brings a Devonian 
horizon, with more land-plants, but no such 
flora as Moses describes. There were fishes, 
but neither "whales" nor "fowl." 

Long after this came the Carboniferous 
period, with water-animals and land-animals, 
and an abundant flora. Still, there were no 
fruit-trees, nor were there whales in the 
seas or cattle on the land. 

Later, again, in the Tertiary, we find a 
flora exactly answering to that in Genesis, 
containing, as it does, grasses, herbs, and 
fruit-trees with the seed in the fruit i. e., 
angiosperms, including in that term palms. 
As to the animals of this horizon, there 
were then fishes, birds, and mammals, but 
not of living species. Professor Dana, 
(" Manual of Geology," revised edition, page 
518), says, " All the fishes, birds, reptiles, 
and mammals of the Tertiary are extinct." 
These, therefore, were not the fauna of 

* " On the same horizon * is said of the fossils 
and strata of one age. " Imperial Dictionary." 



which Moses wrote ns " living creatures." 
But still later, in the Quaternary, there were 
fishes, amphibians or reptiles, mammals 
and birds, whales and seals. Most of the 
birds are still represented. Some, however, 
have died out very recently, say within a 
century or less. Of the others, save the 
mammals, all kinds, so far as known, are 
still in existence. The mammals are nearly 
all extinct.* 

At this time, therefore, the marine life 
and the " fowl " of to-day came into exist- 
ence. I note here a circumstance that is in 
remarkable harmony with the well-known 
fact that many species of invertebrates, and 
perhaps some others, have come down from 
the Tertiary. There is the fiat that the 
waters were to swarm with living creatures, 
and then, in the next verse, an assertion of 
crcatorship so broad as to include every 
living creature as if it said God " created, " 
through his way of doing such things, all 
that appeared for the first at that time, as 
well as all else then living. 

Coming still further down in the world's 
history, we reach the horizon of to-day, with 
its living species of land-animals, including 
cattle, beasts, and creeping things. The 
remark about the previous horizon applies 
here also. 

I submit, therefore, as the result of an 
examination of the Mosaic record, that Pro- 
fessor Huxley's " central idea " has no ex- 
istence in Genesis if taken without " flexi- 
bility " or additions ; and, it appears to me 
that, according to geology, the story as told 
in Genesis is true as to its order. A flora 
containing fruit-trees did come before the 
living air and water population ; and these 
came before living cattle and beasts. 

As to all other matters pertaining to 
life the account is silent, but silence is not 

In the limited space of a letter I have 
been able to give but scant justice to my 

Other important questions press upon 
me. What about man ? What is the true 
" central idea " ? What about the rest of 
the chapter ; will it bear this intensely liter- 
al treatment ? And the " days," are they 
days or periods ? 

I can but hint at answers, and that only 
to two of the questions. Paleontology tells 
very little about man. Genesis says only 
that God made a pair whom he called 
Adam.f There may have been older races. 
Such seem to be referred to when Cain says 
he is afraid that whoever meets him will 
kill him ; and so where the account speaks 

Page 345. Nicholson's M Ancient Life Historv" : 
tt No extinct forms of fishes, amphibians, or reptiles 
are known to occur." Also Dana. " Manual of Geol- 
ogy ." third edition, p. 503: "The mammals are 
nearly all extinct." 

t Or man, according to the margin of the Re- 
vised Version. 

of. the sons of God and the daughters of 

The true " central idea " is God's cre- 
atorship. This might have been given in 
one sentence, or have been extended into 
particulars, and these particulars might 
have been given in any order, or, if the au- 
thor was wise enough to be able to do it, 
the particular acts of creatorship might 
have been named in the order of their oc- 
currence. As there are, on a close analysis, 
some forty matters of order or fact in this 
story, it is impossible that by any chance or 
guess they should fall into the true order. 
But what if they are there ? As to the 
" days," I suppose that they were twenty- 
four hours long, and that creation was mill- 
ions of years in being accomplished. The 
paradox is, as it seems to me, easily explained, 
but to attempt it noAv, or to give my reasons 
for believing the order identical with that 
revealed by science, would extend this letter 
beyond its due limits. Yours truly, 

C. B. Warring. 
Poughkeepsie, N. T., March 21, 18S6. 


Messrs. Editors : 

In " The Popular Science Monthly " for 
May, 1S85, I read with great interest an 
address by Professor William W. Keen, 
M. D., in the course of which he mentioned 
Drs. Weir Mitchell and Reichert, of Phila- 
delphia, as being engaged in experiments 
on the venom of the cobra and rattlesnake. 
At that time I decided to send you the ac- 
count of an incident which might furnish a 
clew to a proper antidote for this venom ; 
but a protracted illness in my family has 
hitherto prevented the carrying out of this 
intention. I am now in a position to do 
so, and shall therefore proceed at once to 
the narrative of the incident in ques- 

In the summer of 18S3, while engaged 
in some field-work in Polonio Pass, San 
Luis Obispo County, California, a young 
"setter" dog, belonging to a comrade, was 
bitten on the nose by a rattlesnake. The 
dog suffered for a few days, but did not die. 
However, from a sprightly and intelligent 
animal, he became transformed into a sickly 
and stupid one. He became emaciated and 
miserable, and his vision was greatly im- 
paired in fact, all of his faculties seemed 
to be benumbed. 

Shortly afterward we went up into the 
Sacramento River Canon, and took this dog, 
together with a host of others (the usual 
concomitants of an engineer's camp), with 
us to our new field of labor. Now, in the late 
autumn the banks of the upper Sacramento 
River become annually lined with the decay- 
ing bodies of large numbers of " dog " sal- 



mon salmon that have died from exhaus- 
tion while endeavoring to force themselves 
to the head-waters of the river for spawning 
purposes ; and in the fall of 1883 our canine 
camp-followers partook voraciously of this 
free salmon-feast, with the result that all of 
them, with one single exception, died with 
every indication of being poisoned. The 
single exception was the young dog that 
had suffered from the rattlesnake-bite. He 
apparently experienced no discomfort from 
his meal ; and, strangest of all, from that 
day he became a well dog ! He regained 
his youthful elasticity of spirit, became ro- 
bust, and, when I last saw him, was as play- 
ful and intelligent a dog as I have ever seen. 
There is no exaggeration in any of these 

lines, and what I have here stated can be 
verified by at least a dozen witnesses. 

To my mind this incident seems to point 
to the conclusion that there is developed in 
salmon, and possibly in other decaying fish, 
an organic principle, in itself poisonous, but 
which may prove to be a counter-agent for 
the poison of the rattlesnake and of other 
venomous serpents. I am therefore inclined 
to believe that an examination of this mat- 
ter might result in the production of an an- 
tidote to the terrible venom of the poisonous 
snakes ; and, in the hope that such may be 
the case, I remain, respectfully yours, 

Bernard Bienenfeld. 

1018 Post Street, San Francisco, | 
November 29, 1885. j 



AN apostle once wrote, "Let love 
be without dissimulation." Had 
he lived in our day, he might have 
thought it quite as important to say, 
"Let love be without sentimentality." 
In looking over the reports of charita- 
ble institutions especially purely vol- 
untary ones we are frequently struck 
by the utter absence of any attempt to 
deal in what might be called a scientific 
manner with the facts that come within 
their scope. Instead of this, we have 
any amount of sentimentality and gush, 
pious ascriptions of thanks to Provi- 
dence, considerable laudation of the 
officers engaged in the work of the in- 
stitution, and long lists of donations, 
with the names of the donors, of 
course. Now, we would cheerfully 
exchange all this for a little informa- 
tion likely to be servicable in a scien- 
tific point of view. Say it is an "or- 
phans' home." What we should like 
to know in connection with the opera- 
tions of such an institution may be 
roughly indicated under the following 
heads: 1. In regard to each inmate, 
whether he or she is really an orphan 
or not. 2. If so, how the condition of 
orphanage and dependence arose. 3. 
How it happened that private aid from 
friends or relatives was not forthcom- 

ing whether, for example, the exist- 
ence of a convenient asylum into which 
the orphan could be put had anything 
te do with the child's being placed 
there rather than otherwise provided 
for. 4. What moral effects seem to 
flow from the absence of parental af- 
fection and influence. 5. What the 
special influences of the home or asylum 
seem to be in different classes of cases. 
6. What the subsequent course in life 
of children released from the home has 

It is too much the habit of the 
present day to think that, if things are 
done from a right motive, they must 
be done well. One evil effect of this 
is to discourage criticism of motives 
apparently good; yet the interests of 
society as a whole call for nothing 
more strongly than for a stringent criti- 
cism of motives as well as of actions. 
Take the case of our orphan asylum 
again. In some small town, a lot of 
benevolent people, chiefly of the more 
emotional sex, will decide that an or- 
phan asylum is wanted. There may 
be only three or four cases within their 
knowledge at the time that in any way 
call for such an institution ; and proba- 
bly no very great amount of private 
effort would be required to dispose of 
these satisfactorily in a private way. 



Still, the idea of an orphan asylum, 
managed by a society of ladies, is a 
very taking one. It will make room 
for a lady president, two or three 
lady vice-presidents, a lady secre- 
tary, a managing committee of la- 
dies, and, of course, lady visitors. So 
the asylum is ushered into existence. 
Though modest in its beginnings, it is 
still bevond the real wants of the local- 
ity. The few known orphans are gath- 
ered in ; and then the ladies, hungry 
for objects of benevolence, look round 
for more ; rather than have empty 
rooms and a half-employed matron, 
they " rope in," on one pretext or an- 
other, children who are not orphans at 
all. Then they challenge public atten- 
tion by annual reports and annual col- 
lections. Of course, every man in the 
community who wants to be credited 
with even a fragment of a soul must 
subscribe to the orphan asylum. It 
would be as much as one's social ex- 
istence was worth to so much as hint 
a doubt as to whether an institution 
with a name so redolent of charity 
was really performing a useful office in 
the community. So the funds come 
in freely. The ladies, finding how 
prompt is the response to their benevo- 
lent appeals, conceive large and dar- 
ing schemes. They are going to have 
a building now that will be a credit to 
the town, and that will not only rob 
orphanage of half its terrors, but widely 
advertise the willingness of the com- 
munity to shoulder everybody's private 
burdens in the matter of children need- 
ing protection through the loss of par- 
ents. So a ridiculously large building 
goes up, to the infinite pride and satis- 
faction of the lady managers, and the 
silent wonderment of the meditative 
citizen with a gift for arithmetic and 
averages, but perhaps no experience as 
to how the orphan business like other 
businesses can be " boomed." 

Now, the hard, bottom fact is, that 
fuss and vanity enter very largely into 
many of these schemes of so-called 

charity. They reek with sentimental- 
ity ; and therefore it is no wonder that 
those who work them content them- 
selves with reports at once jejune and 
nauseating jejune in facts, nauseat- 
ing in phraseology. The best possible 
way to check these flabby imitations of 
real charity would be to summon them 
somewhat peremptorily to give such 
facts as might furnish material for a 
really scientific study of their opera- 
tions. They could not in decency re- 
fuse the demand, if made by a certain 
number of their respectable supporters ; 
and yet we are convinced that, to com- 
ply with the demand in anything like 
an honest and thorough fashion, would 
be to show that their work was, in part 
at least, hollow and even hurtful. We 
believe that a vast amount of harm is 
being done, not only by thoughtless 
private charity, but by ill-organized, 
ill-directed, and over-ambitious corpo- 
rate charity. However, let scientific 
thinkers, men who have taken to heart 
all that is implied in the great truth 
that two and two make four, settle 
right down to work on the reports of 
some of these pretentious concerns ; 
and, where they find information lack- 
ing that ought to be given, quietly 
ask for it. The world would be none 
the worse for the puncturing of a few 
of the bubbles blown by vanity and 
floated by sentimentality ; and the way 
to puncture them is to bring the " sci- 
entific method " to bear on their very 
unscientific operations. 

"We are glad to see that the views 
expressed in these columns a year ago, 
in regard to the inexpediency of giving 
Federal aid to education in the South 
or anywhere else, are gaining ground 
among the most intelligent representa- 
tives of public opinion. The "Boston 
Herald," one of the most progressive 
papers in the country, which at one 
time favored the scheme, now opposes 
it. There is altogether too strong a 
disposition in certain quarters to bring 
the Federal Government into play for 



the redress of all kinds of wrongs. The 
ideal should rather be to reduce its func- 
tions to the narrowest limits in order 
that all the more life may reside in 
our local institutions, and all the more 
scope be left to private initiative. It 
is easier to stereotype a civilization than 
people imagine, and the way to do it is 
to look to the Government for every- 

To show how easy it is to make a 
fallacious use of figures, we may men- 
tion that in the alarming statistics fre- 
quently published in support of the 
Blair Bill for Federal aid to education in 
the South statistics intended to show 
what an overwhelming mass of igno- 
rance existed in the Southern States 
no account was taken of the fact that 
a very large proportion of the illiterate 
blacks belonged to a class the adult 
population whom educational meas- 
ures could never reach, however lib- 
eral might be the appropriations made 
therefor. A recent writer has pointed 
out that when we come to compare 
the percentage of children attending 
school in the South with the percentage 
so attending, say, in New England, the 
difference is by no means very striking. 
The South is evidently doing well, and 
will yet do better, if no intrusive and 
demoralizing aid is afforded to it out 
of the national treasurv. 


Three Years of Arctic Service. An Ac- 
count of the Lady Franklin Bay Ex- 
pedition of 18Sl-'84, and the Attain- 
ment of the Farthest North. By 
Adolphus W. Greely. New York : 
Charles Scribner's Sons. Two vols. 
Pp. xxv-428, and 444, with Maps. 

No story of tragic adventure has ever 
excited greater interest or invoked stronger 
sympathy than that of the life and suffer- 
ings of Lieutenant Greely and his party of 
twenty-four men at Cape Sabine during the 
winter of 1883-84. Other parties have 
suffered intense privations and pains, in the 
Arctic regions and other inhospitable parts 
of the globe ; but, as a rule, there have been 

features of some kind to set off and relieve 
the uniformity of their misery, or else, all 
having perished, the world has escaped the 
sorrow of viewing the picture of their suf- 
fering in photographic detail. But with this 
party of our countrymen there were nine 
months of monotonous uniformity of suffer- 
ing, and slow, steady progress toward death ; 
and enough have survived its perils to de- 
scribe the pains in all their colors. It is 
right that we should have this full story of 
the expedition from its commander. He 
was responsible for its management, and 
he was the member of it, if any, who was 
best able to take a complete view of it as a 
whole, and in all its aspects. In preparing 
his account,' he has, he says, spared neither 
health nor strength. For materials he has 
drawn upon his own diary, the official field 
reports, and the journals of Lieutenant Lock- 
wood and Sergeant Brainard, the only com- 
plete ones, with his own, that were kept. 
As is fitting, the story of the last terrible 
days of starvation, freezing, and death, is 
told almost wholly in the words of the dia- 
ries as it was recorded from day to day at 
the time, with hardly a word of comment. 

The expedition commanded by Lieuten- 
ant Greely was intended to establish one of 
the international stations for circumpolar 
observation that had been decided upon 
after the suggestion of Lieutenant Wey- 
precht, of the Austrian Navy, by the Polar 
Conferences which met in Hamburg and 
Berne in 1879 and 1880.' Two of the four- 
teen stations established were assigned to the 
United States one at Point Barrow, in lati- 
tude 71 18' north, longitude 156 24' west, 
under Lieutenant Ray, and one at Lady 
Franklin Bay, latitude 81 44' north, longi- 
tude 64 45' west, under Lieutenant Greely. 
The station at the latter point, when estab- 
lished, was named Fort Conger, after Sen- 
ator Conger, of Michigan, who had inter- 
ested himself specially in behalf of the ex- 
pedition. Hardly had the party landed, 
when a defect in its organization revealed 
itself, in the shape of inharmonious ele- 
ments and the want of strong enough au- 
thority. The circumstance, says Lieutenant 
Greely, emphasizes " the necessity of select- 
ing for Arctic service only men and officers 
of thoroughly military qualities, among 
which subordination is by no means of see- 



ondary importance." Our wonder is that 
the thought of a plan of selection from 
which this was omitted should have been 
tolerated for an instant. The primary ob- 
ject of the expedition being to carry out the 
scientific programme of the Hamburg Polar 
Conference, the utmost care was given to 
physical observations. The series began 
July 1, 1831, at St. John's, Newfoundland, 
and terminated June 21, 1884, forty hours 
before the rescue of the survivors. Sum- 
marics of them are given in the appen- 
dixes to the book, and a chapter is allotted 
to the description of the manner in which 
they were taken. Natural history observa- 
tions and collections were also made, but 
the collections, of course, in the straits to 
which the expedition was reduced, could not 
be brought home. As good provisions as 
were possible under the circumstances were, 
however, made for the preservation of the 
scientific results. They were cached, at 
places which were suitably marked and de- 
scribed, and may possibly be recovered by 
more fortunate adventurers. A suggestive 
glimpse of the character of Arctic life dur- 
ing the winter darkness is afforded by the 
fact that some of the observations and the 
places for taking them were arranged so as 
to afford the men reasonable occasions, in 
going to mark them, for going out-of-doors 
and taking walks of considerable length. 
Exercise is as indispensable in the winter 
of the poles as in more favored regions, 
and one of the difficult problems for explor- 
ers is to manage matters or " sugar-coat " 
it, so that it shall be taken regularly and in 
sufficient amount without appearing to be 
administered as a medicine. 

Two important geographical achieve- 
ments stand to the credit of the expedi- 
tion: They are the journey of Lieutenant 
Lockwood, Sergeant Brainard, and the Es- 
kimo Christiansen to the farthest north, and 
the exploration of Grinnell Land. The itin- 
erary of the northerly journey, as given 
from the journals of the explorers, is very 
interesting, and, with the aid of the accom- 
panying maps, is very clear. It was on the 
13th of May, 1882, when, having made six- 
teen miles in ten hours, and worn out by 
travel through deep snow, the party made 
their farthest camp at the north end of 
Lockwood Island, which, by circum-meridian 

and subpolar observations reduced by Gauss's 
method, was determined to be in 83 23*8' 
north, the highest latitude ever attained by 
man. The highest latitude reached previous 
to this was by Markham, on sea, in 1876, 
83 20' 26". Of this event Sergeant Brain- 
ard's field-notes say : " We have reached a 
higher latitude than ever before reached by 
mortal man, and on a land farther north 
than by many was supposed to exist. We 
unfurled the glorious Stars and Stripes to 
the exhilarating northern breezes with an 
exultation impossible to describe." So, says 
Lieutenant Greely, " with proper pride, they 
looked that day from their farthest vantage- 
ground of the farthest north (Lockwood 
Island) to the desolate cape which, until sur- 
passed in coming ages, may well bear the 
grand name of Washington." Of this party 
Sergeant Brainard, " without whose efficient 
aid and restless energy, as Lockwood said, 
the work could not have been accomplished," 
is the only survivor. The exploration of 
Grinnell Land begun by Lieutenant Greely 
in the spring, whose journey of two hundred 
and fifty miles of travel in twelve days was 
marked by the discovery of the large Lake 
Hazen and the interesting Henrietta Nesmith 
Glacier, was continued in the summer with 
the results, as summed up by the author, of 
the satisfactory, if not complete, determina- 
tion of the extent of North Grinnell Land ; 
the outlining of the extraordinary and pre- 
viously unsuspected physical conditions of 
the interior of Jhat country ; and the dis- 
covery of numerous valleys covered with 
comparatively luxuriant vegetation, which 
afford sufficient pasturage for large num- 
bers of musk-oxen. About five thousand 
square miles of newly discovered land fell 
under observation, of which over one half 
was determined with sufficient accuracy to 
enable its physical geography to be passed 
upon. Lieutenant Greely's discoveries ac- 
cord closely with the opinions of Sir Joseph 
Hooker ; and " the intimate relation be- 
tween the physical sciences is forcibly illus- 
trated by the ability of a highly trained and 
accomplished specialist to state from a hand- 
ful of plants the insularity or continental 
configuration of a land and its physical con- 
dition." Another expedition was made, 
across Grinnell Land, by Lieutenant Lock- 
wood, who carried out his commander's in- 



structions to their full extent, although he 
started under the belief that they could not 
be accomplished. 

Lieutenant Greely has his views of the 
constitution of the polar regions, and they 
are entitled to all the respect which the 
opinions of a man of intelligence who has 
had unusual opportunities for observation 
have a right to command. He does not 
doubt " that in the vicinity of the north 
and south poles are glacial lands entirely 
covered by ice-caps of enormous thickness, 
which throw off the huge floebergs of the 
north and the yet more remarkable flat- 
topped icebergs of the south. The north 
polar land is, I believe, of limited extent, 
and its shores, or the edges of its glaciers, 
are washed by a sea which, from its size and 
consequent high temperature, its ceaseless 
tides and strong currents, can never be en- 
tirely ice-clad. . . . Far be it from me to 
advocate a navigable polar sea. On the 
contrary, I am firmly possessed with the 
idea that an ice-belt from fifty to a hundred 
miles wide borders the lands to the south- 
ward, and that the water-space to the north- 
ward can only be entered in extremely favor- 
able years by the Spitzbergen route." 

We had marked many passages illustra- 
tive of the monotonous life of the Arctic 
winters and its depressing and irritating 
effect upon the minds of the men ; descrip- 
tive of the toilsome journey from Camp 
Conger to Cape Sabine, and of the attempt 
to cross Smith Sound ; and incidents of the 
unprecedented sufferings of the party in their 
spring of cold starvation at Cape Sabine ; 
but we have no space for them. The story, 
moreover, is not one that can be represented 
by incidents selected here and there, but 
should be taken in a whole. The head- 
ings of the closing chapters fittingly suggest 
its character. They are : " The Beginning 
of the End " ; " The Last of Our Rations " ; 
" The End by Death and Rescue." Of the 
whole, Lieutenant Greely says : " No pen 
could convey to the world an adequate idea 
of the abject misery and extreme wretched- 
ness to which we were reduced at Cape Sa- 
bine. Insufficiently clothed, for months 
without drinking water, destitute of warmth, 
our sleeping-bags frozen to the ground, our 
walls, roof, and floor covered with frost and 
ice, subsisting on one fifth of an Arctic ra- 


tion, almost without clothing, light, heat, or 
food, yet we were never without courage, 
faith, and hope. The extraordinary spirit 
of loyalty, patience, charity, and self-denial 
daily and almost universally exhibited by 
our famished and nearly maddened party 
must be read between the lines in the ac- 
count of our daily life penned under such 
desperate and untoward circumstances." 

Easy Lessons in German. By Adolphe 
Dreyspring. New York : D. Appleton 
& Co. Pp. 103. Price, 70 cents. 

The " Easy Lessons " is intended as an 
introduction to the author's "Cumulative 
Method," and to be adapted both to schools 
and to home instruction. It is designed not 
only for those who shun "full-grown" text- 
books, and to whom price is a material con- 
sideration, but more especially for the boys 
and girls of the primary classes, to whose 
intellectual status it is better adapted than 
are the larger works. The aid of illustra- 
tions is freely called in to enforce the mean- 
ing of the nouns and verbs, so that each of 
the conventional lessons into which the work 
is divided is in fact a series of object-lessons. 
We regard the author's system, which con- 
sists of frequent repetition and the putting 
of the word or set of words, which is the par- 
ticular subject of the lesson, through its va- 
rieties of combinations and changes, as an 
excellent one. The exercises are conver- 
sational, are made interesting and amusing, 
and are so directly to the point they are de- 
signed to enforce, that by the time the pupil 
is through with one of them, it is well im- 
pressed upon his mind, and not likely to be 

The Determination of Rock-forming Min- 
erals. By Dr. Eugen Hussak. Author- 
ized Translation from the German, by 
Erastus G. Smith, Ph. D. New York : 
John Wiley & Sons. Pp. 233. Price, 

This book is intended to supply a want 
long felt by students of mineralogy and li- 
thology. It presents, in a shape adapted for 
use in the class-room and the laboratory, a 
digest of numerous articles bearing upon the 
subject, that have appeared in technical 
journals and other publications of various 

The first part of the work treats of the 



methods of investigation adopted in min- 
eralogical and petrographical research ; the 
optical methods and the micro-chemical 
methods are considered in turn. 

The second part is devoted to the study 
of mineral determination. A table for de- 
termining the system of crystallization of the 
rock-forming minerals is followed by a most 
elaborate set of tables which give the com- 
position and chemical reactions of the min- 
erals, their structure, association, etc. 

A great number of illustrations are scat- 
tered through the book, and a feature that 
will prove most welcome is the bibliography 
to Part II, which contains references to 
many works on mineralogy, and to numer- 
ous memoirs that have been published in 
scientific periodicals. 

History of the Pacific States of North 
America. By Hubert Howe Bancroft. 
Vol. XXVIII. Alaska, 1730-1885. San 
Francisco : A. L. Bancroft & Co. Pp. 
775. Price, $5. 

Alaska furnishes materials for a more 
varied and interesting history than any one 
would imagine before reading this volume. 
The story is really full of incident and ad- 
venture, and is graphically presented. The 
early history of Alaska, as the publishers 
well remark, is wholly different from the 
history of any other part of America. It 
dates from a different quarter of the globe ; 
the territory was seized and occupied by a 
people who never mingled in American af- 
fairs before or since. " For reckless cour- 
age, for indifference to suffering and death, 
for cruelty and iniquity, the Russians were 
in no wise behind the Spaniards. And the 
character and customs of the Russians them- 
selves are no less objects of interest than 
those of the natives of Alaska, which, for 
the most part, are unlike those of other 
American aboriginal peoples. The Russian 
fur-trade, as it was in the beginning, the 
century march of the Cossacks across Si- 
beria, the voyages of discovery to the oppo- 
site coast of America, and the fur-hunting 
expeditions which followed, are all full of 
thrilling interest." Of the importance of 
Alaska the author has a much better opin- 
ion than generally prevails, and observes 
that " Scandinavia, her Old-World counter- 
part, is possessed of far less natural wealth, 

and is far less grand in natural configuration. 
In Alaska we can count more than eleven 
hundred islands in a single group. We can 
trace the second largest water-course in the 
world. We have large sections of territory 
where the average yearly temperature is 
higher than that of Stockholm or Chris- 
tiania, where it is milder in winter, and 
where the fall of rain and snow is less than 
in the southern portion of Scandinavia." 
And the area of this part of the terri- 
tory is greater than that of Scotland and 
Southern Scandinavia combined. The re- 
sources, also, of Alaska, " though some of 
them are not yet available, are abundant, 
and of such a nature that, if properly econ- 
omized, they will never be seriously im- 
paired." To procure material for this his- 
tory, Mr. Bancroft dispatched an agent well 
acquainted with its affairs, on three distinct 
journeys to Alaska, who visited all places 
of historical importance and persons of his- 
torical note, and thus obtained much fresh 
information ; explored, by his assistants, 
documentary material in Sitka, San Fran- 
cisco, and Washington ; was aided by his 
friend M. Pinart, and men of letters and 
officers in St. Petersburg, in collecting in- 
formation from the Russian archives ; and 
obtained all the accessible authorities in 
print in Russia, other European countries, 
and the United States. This volume has 
the distinction from the others of being the 
first of the series which is complete in itself, 
with preface, and index from the beginning 
of the history to the present day. 

Practical and Analytical Chemtstry. By 
Hexry Trimble, Ph. G. Philadelphia : 
P. Blakiston, Son & Co. Pp. 94. Price, 

This book is intended for the use of 
students of medicine, pharmacy, and others 
who may have but a comparatively limited 
amount of time to devote to the study of 
chemistry. Part I, " Practical Chemistry," 
discusses briefly the preparation and proper- 
ties of gases and the preparation of salts ; 
Part II treats of " Qualitative Analysis " ; 
Part III of " Quantitative Analysis." The 
former contains some reference to the reac- 
tions of organic compounds, the latter em- 
braces examples for practice in both gravi- 
metric and volumetric estimation. 



Evolution of To-Day : A Summary of the 
Theory of Evolution as held by Scien- 
tists at the Present Time, and an Ac- 
count of the Progress made by the Dis- 
cussions and Investigations of a Quarter 
of a Century. By H. W. Conn, Ph. D., 
Instructor of Biology at Wesleyan Uni- 
versity. New York : G. P. Putnam's 
Sons. Pp. 342. Price $1.75. 

The greater evolution of ideas precipi- 
tated with such unparalleled rapidity dur- 
ing the lat generation by the promulgation 
of the sceneral doctrine of evolution and 
the wide-spread interest in the subject 
which has followed have brought us, as 
was inevitable, to a stage of popular lit- 
erature upon the question which shows 
plenty of signs that it is no longer the 
scientific world that is chiefly addressed. 
The number of those who think themselves 
competent to explain evolution to ordinary 
people is largely increasing, but, while their 
efforts are undoubtedly commendable, it 
must be admitted that much of their work 
is inferior and unsatisfactory. The subject 
itself is extensive, complex, and unsettled, 
and it requires a good deal of sound infor- 
mation, careful habits of thinking, and ex- 
cellent scientific judgment, so to present it 
as not to convey to uninstructed minds about 
as much error as truth. 

The present volume, although not with- 
out merit, belongs nevertheless to this un- 
satisfactory class of books upon evolution. 
In the first place, the title is mischievously 
misleading. It would lead us to expect a 
discussion of the subject in its full breadth 
and latest developments and applications ; 
whereas it is confined, we might almost say, 
strictly to one branch of the subject organic 
evolution ; and the book might much better 
be named a treatise on Darwinism than an 
exposition of the evolution of to-day. While 
dealing with the details of biological devel- 
opment, Dr. Conn writes with tolerable 
clearness ; but when he tries to expound 
the fundamental conceptions of his volume, 
as presented in its title, he writes neither 
clearly nor correctly, and betrays consider- 
able confusion of mind over the larger re- 
lations of his subject. In his introduction, 
Dr. Conn says : " Evolution is not Darwin- 
ism. We have now reached the conclusion 
as to what is now ordinarily meant by evo- 
lution" (derivation of species by descent, 

Ed.), " and such was Darwin's understand- 
ing of the term. But it must not be con- 
founded with Darwinism. Evolution is sim- 
ply a theory as to the method by which 
species have been introduced into the world, 
entirely independent of any idea as to the 
causes which have brought about their in- 
troduction. Darwinism is evolution, but it 
is more than this ; it is at the same time an 
attempt at an explanation of the causes of 
evolution.' ' Again, he says, " Darwinism 
proper, then, is not evolution, but its ex- 

Now, these views are probably original 
with Dr. Conn ; at any rate, we have never 
met them before, and they are certainly far 
from representing the "evolution of to- 
day." Evolution, as now most generally 
held, is a law of Nature a law of trans- 
formation by which phenomena undergo 
changes, passing from one form to another, 
by which the past has given rise to the pres- 
ent, and the present determines the future 
through the agencies of the natural world. 
Evolution is a phase of the order of Nature 
of great comprehensiveness, or it is noth- 
ing ; it has its large divisions, of which or- 
ganic evolution is one. Mr. Darwin devoted 
himself to the study of one of the elements 
or factors of organic evolution the origin 
of species by means of natural selection. 
To define evolution as excluding the study 
of causes, and then to define Darwinism 
as a study of causes, or as explanation of 
evolution, is simply absurd. As a matter of 
science, evolution is essentially, and indeed 
solely, a problem of forces and causes, and 
Mr. Darwin did what he could to trace them 
out in the line of his special work ; but he 
never made even an attempt to study the 
theory of evolution as a general law of Na- 
ture, to analyze, formulate, or reduce it to 
scientific expression. 

The Sun. By Amedee Guillemin. Trans- 
lated from the French, by A. L. Phipson. 
New York : Charles Scribner's Sons. 
Pp. 297. Price, $1. 

This book forms one of a series termed 
" The Illustrated Library of Wonders," of 
which Messrs. Charles Scribner's Sons are 
now publishing a new and revised edition. 
Inviting his readers to join him in a lit- 
tle trip of the imagination a trifle of some 



ninety million miles or thereabout the au- 
thor discourses pleasantly on that luminous 
sphere that forms the destination of this 
astronomical journey. 

The sun is considered as the source of 
lteht. of heat, and of chemical action ; its 
influence on living beings, on animals and 
plants, is commented upon. The position of 
the sun in the planetary world, its rotation, 
its physical and chemical constitution, are 
all studied in turn ; and, finally, there are 
given the reasons why life is, must be, im- 
possible upon its surface. Numerous illus- 
trations are scattered throughout the text. 

History of California. By Theodore H. 
Hittell. San Francisco : Occidental 
Publishing Company. Pp. 799. Price, 


The author of this history is a well- 
known legal writer of California, who has 
spent many years of industrious labor in its 
preparation. His purpose has been to give 
an account, and, at the same time, a pict- 
uresque history of the State, a popular his- 
tory, adapted to the use of those who have 
not time to read a larger work, but who de- 
sire at the same time a comprehensive re- 
view of the subject, in which every branch 
is treated in due proportion to its relative 
importance as viewed with regard to the 
whole. No other State, the publishers 
claim, possesses so romantic a history as 
California, and in no work on the subject 
that we have observed has more effort been 
made with greater success to present it in a 
way which, while it does not lack in the es- 
sential point of accuracy, shall make the story 
interesting and pleasant in the reading. 
Beginning with the very first account of the 
country found in the older records, it traces 
the development, illustrates the progress, 
and shows how, step by step, the State be- 
came what it is. The old voyages, with 
their interesting incidents ; the heroic tale 
of the early settlements ; the labors of the 
missionaries, and their establishment of the 
missions ; the lives and acts of the Span- 
ish and American governors ; the changes 
wrought in the condition of the country by 
the revolution against Spain and Spanish 
ideas ; the growth of the civil as opposed 
to the ecclesiastical, and the popular as op- 
posed to the monarchical power ; the strug- 

gles of individuals and factions ; and the 
evolution of the new State, are related in a 
plain, engaging style. In the present vol- 
ume the first book is devoted to the stories 
of the early voyagers ; the second book 
covers the period of the Jesuit mission set- 
tlements of Lower California, and closes 
with an account of the Indians of that re- 
gion ; the third book covers the period of 
the Franciscan missions and the beginnings 
of Alta California ; and the other books 
include the history of the Spanish govern- 
ors, the Northwest coast fur-trade, later 
Northwest coast - voyages and discoveries, 
overland expeditions and explorations, and 
the Indians of Alta California. The second 
volume, which will complete the work, is 
promised soon. 

A Text-Book of Inorganic Chemistry. By 

Professor V. von Richter. Authorized 

Translation, by Edgar F. Smith, Ph. D. 

Philadelphia : P. Blakiston, Son & Co. 

Pp. 423. Illustrated. Price, $2. 

The fact alone that this volume bears 
the imprint, " Second American from the 
fourth German edition," would seem to be- 
speak for this work a degree of merit not 
common to many of the numerous produc- 
tions that have appeared in this field of sci- 
ence. A careful examination of its pages 
confirms this impression. Usually text- 
books on this subject present but a more 
or less complete enumeration of facts. The 
different elements are considered in turn : 
their occurrence, modes of preparation, 
properties, important compounds, etc., are 
discussed ; but little effort is made to point 
out the theories deduced from the observa- 
tions and experiments. 

In this work, however, the inductive 
method is followed throughout. Experi- 
ments are given and carried out, with the 
intention of drawing conclusions from them, 
and of illustrating the close relation be- 
tween the results obtained and the theories 
founded upon them. 

The introduction briefly defines the prov- 
ince of chemistry, refers to the principle of 
the indestructibility of matter, the conser- 
vation of energy, chemical energy, condi- 
tions of chemical action, chemical symbols 
and formulEe. The elements are classified 
according to the law of periodicity, this 
meaning simply that the properties of the 



elements and their compounds present them- 
selves as a periodic function of their atomic 

Attention must also be directed to an- 
other feature of this book, as important as 
it is novel in a text-book on inorganic 
chemistry. When bodies enter into chemi- 
cal combination, heat is almost invariably 
evolved ; and, on the other hand, when a 
compound is decomposed into its constit- 
uents, heat is absorbed and transformed 
into chemical energy. The study of these 
phenomena, thermo-chemistry, is here in- 
troduced in connection with the different 
groups of the elements, thus familiarizing 
the student from the start with one of the 
fundamental principles of chemical science, 
yet one which has heretofore been almost 
entirely relegated to works on theoretical 
chemistry. In short, Von Richter offers a 
most clear, vivid, and interesting presenta- 
tion of his subject. 

Van Nostrand's Science Series. Ventila- 
tion of Buildings. By W. F. Butler. 
Re edited and enlarged, by James L. 
Greenleaf, C. E. Pp. 147. 

Water-Meters. By Ross E. Browne. Pp. 

The Preservation of Timber by the Use 

of Antiseptics. By S. B. Boulton. Pp. 


Mechanical Integrators ; including the 
Various Forms of Planimeters. By Pro- 
fessor Henry S. H. Shaw. Pp. 212. 
Price, 50 cents each. 

Ventilation of Buildings. This essay 
was originally prepared for delivery before 
an audience, which will account for the fact 
that it contains remarks and comments on 
subjects which can hardly be considered as 
specially connected with the ventilation of 
buildings, though in themselves of interest 
and importance. It was written for English 
conditions, and the present copy has been 
re-edited and enlarged by Mr. Greenleaf to 
adapt it for use in this country. The needs 
for ventilation are first discussed, and then 
a method i3 given for ventilating private 
houses, showing how this method may be 
adapted to old and to new buildings. Ap- 
pended to the book is a reprint from " Van 
Nostrand's Magazine " on " How much Ven- 
tilation ? " by the editor of this issue. 

Water-Meters. A brief treatise on some 
of the principal forms of water-meters in 

use, embracing descriptions of the promi- 
nent features of two forms of piston-meter, 
the Worthington and the Kennedy, and 
three forms of velocity-meters, the Siemens 
of English manufacture, the Siemens of Ger- 
man manufacture, and the Hesse meter. A 
series of tests conducted with the latter is 
given. An appendix contains a translation 
of an article on some forms of water-meters 
not considered in the text previous. This 
article is by Charles Andre and was pub- 
lished in the " Genie Civil." The book is 
intended mainly for hydraulic engineers. 

The Presei'valion of Timber by the Use 
of Antiseptics. A paper prepared for the 
Institution of Civil Engineers and discussed 
before them ; the discussion is appended. 
It is a careful review of the history of pre- 
serving timber, and the chief methods 
adapted to that end. 

Mechanical Integrators. Descriptions of 
various devices that may be designated as 
mechanical aids to mathematical computa- 
tion ; chiefly such are considered as will 
prove of value to engineers. 

Chemical Analysis for Schools and Sci- 
ence Classes. Qualitative - Inorganic. 
By A. H. Scott- White, B. Sc. New 
York : Scribner & Wclford. Pp. 130. 

A concise text-book intended in the first 
place for students fitting for examinations 
at English colleges. Valuable hints are 
given as to the preliminary analysis, then 
follow schemes of examination for bases 
and for acids, and appended are notes on 
apparatus, on the preparation of reagents, 
etc. A quite extensive list of the chemical 
symbols of substances made use of in the 
analytical work is given. These symbols 
are arranged in alphabetical order, and, as 
the corresponding names are also given, will 
prove very convenient for the student. 

First Lessons in Philosophy. By M. S. 
Handley. New York : Scribner & Wel- 
ford. Pp. 59. 

A brief presentation, in the form of con- 
versations, of the elementary conceptions of 
philosophy. This book is intended to serve 
as an introduction to metaphysics and logic. 
It is essentially based on the writings of 
S. H. Hodgson, principally on " Time and 
Space," by this author. 



Chemical Equilibrium the Result of the 
Dissipation of Energy. By G. D. Live- 
ing, M. A., F. R. S. New York : Scrib- 
ner & Welford. 

This essay presents the substance of a 
course of lectures delivered by the author 
iu the University of Cambridge. The doc- 
trine of the dissipation of energy is, that 
" there is a universal tendency in nature for 
energy to take such forms and to be so dis- 
tributed that it is not available to do me- 
chanical work." This theory is here con- 
sidered in a form especially adapted to the 
problems of chemistry, and will prove of in- 
terest to students of chemical philosophy. 

Moisture and Dryness ; or, the Analysis 
of Atmospheric Humidities in the 
United States. By Charles Denison, 
A. M., M. D. Chicago : Band, McNally 
& Co. Pp. 30, with~Charts. Price, $1. 

An essay read before the American 
Climatological Association, and reprinted 
from " The New York Medical Journal " 
for September, 1884. The author takes the 
position that " an actually small amount of 
atmospheric moisture is the most important 
element in the best climates for phthisis." 
The causes affecting dryness, i. e., temper- 
ature, altitude, the seasons, etc., are con- 
sidered ; tables of Signal-Service stations in 
the United States, rated in order of dryness, 
are given ; and, finally, the physical effects 
of dryness are discussed. 


Pennsylvania Boroughs. By William P. nol- 
combe. Baltimore : N. Murray. Pp. 51. 50 cents. 

Bulletin of the Philosophical Society of "Washing- 
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Forests and Fruit-Growers. By Abbot Kinney, 
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Eczema. By George H. Rohe, M. D. Balti- 
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Bulletin of the Scientific Laboratories of Deni- 
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American Society of Microscopists. Eighth An- 
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Kellicot, Secretary. Buffalo, N. Y. Pp. 253, with 

Reflex Irritation from Hypertrophy of Labia 
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Gyrating Bodies. An Empirical Study. By C. 
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The Physics and Metaphvsics of Money. By 
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The Processes of Electrotvping and Stereotyp- 
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Report of the Agricultural Experiment Station 
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Electric Lighting : Its Present Condition. By 
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Fish Remains and Tracks in the Triassic Rocks 
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Destruction of our Native Birds. Committee 
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Les Cranes dits deformes. (Skulls called de- 
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On the Inequalities of Wealth. By an Ameri- 
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What is Medicine ? By Albert L. Gihon, M. D. 
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Discussion of a Paper on the South Pass Jetties. 
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Chicago Manual Training-School. Third Annua 
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Notes on the Literature of Explosives. No. IX- 
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Studies of Rhythm. By Professor G. Stanley 
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Labor Differences and their Settlement. By 
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Torpedoes for National Defense. By William 
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Annalen k. k. Naturhistorischen Hofmuseum 
(Annals of the Royal-Imperial Natural History 
Court Museum)'. By Dr. Franz Ritter von Hauer, 
Vienna. Pp. 46. 

Sur les Changements temporaires de Refrangi- 
bilite des Raies du Spectre de la Chromosphere et 
des Protuberances Solaires (on Temporary Changes 
of Refrangibility of the Rays of the Spectrum of the 
Solar Chromosphere and Protuberances). By E. L. 
Trouvelot, Pans. Pp. 14, with Plates. ' 


Glacial Elevations of the New England 
Coast. Professor N. S. Shaler, in the course 
of his studies to investigate the origin of 
kames or " Indian ridges," which are particu- 
larly abundant and characteristic along the 
New England sea-coast south of Portland, 
Maine, has been led to the conclusion that 
the glacial submergence along this coast was 
much greater than is commonly assumed. 
Very distinct cross-bedded sands in exten- 
sive sheets occur at points as much as one 
hundred and seventy feet above high tide, 
in positions where, owing to the contour 
of the ground, one can not believe that 
they were formed in any inclosed basin of 
fresh water. They are found at Randolph 
Station, on the Old Colony Railway, and 
about Attleboro, Massachusetts, at heights 
of from one hundred and ninety to two 
hundred feet. These deposits were clearly 
distributed by tidal action, and, as we must 
suppose that the water lay to the depth of 
fifty feet or so above the place of the de- 
posit, there must have been something like 
two hundred feet of depression along this 
shore where the glacier left it. Between 
this level and the present shore -line the 
kames are plentifully scattered. In consid- 
eration of their delicate structure and sharp 

13 6 


outlines and other features, it is difficult to 
see how they escaped the cutting action of 
the sea-beach that must have been dragged 
over all of this surface as it was emerging 
from the sea. A single month of exposure 
to such waves as act even in the more shel- 
tered bays would entirely destroy their more 
delicate outlines. After a careful examina- 
tion of the evidence, Mr. Shaler has been 
driven to suppose that at the close of the 
glacial period the re-elevation of the land 
must have been accomplished with a very 
great suddenness. 

The Genesis of Inventions. In a paper 
read before the Anthropological Society of 
Washington, on "The Genesis of Inven- 
tions," Mr. Franklin A. Seely proposes the 
term Eunematics to designate the study of 
invention. He lays down, as fundamental 
postulates of this science, that, given any 
artificial implement or product, we must 
assume that there was a time when it did 
not exist ; that before it existed there must 
have been a creature capable of producing 
it ; and that such creature before producing 
it must have been conscious of needing it, 
or must have had use for it. Further, that 
every human invention has sprung from 
some prior invention or from some prior 
known expedient; that inventions always 
generate wants, and these wants generate 
other inventions ; that the invention of tools 
and implements proceeds by specialization ; 
and that no art makes progress alone. The 
last four of these propositions are verifiable 
from the history of any and of all modern 
inventions ; the three former are deduced, 
and must be confirmed, if they need con- 
firming, by the study of prehistoric inven- 
tions. In illustration of their force, Mr. 
Seely produces a theoretical study of the 
invention of the stone hatchet, a tool which 
represents the earliest human workmanship 
of which any knowledge has come to us, 
and presents in its rudest form the evi- 
dences of being the fruit of long-antecedent 
growth. When men used wooden poles for 
pikes, they found that their weapons were 
better if they were pointed. One man found 
that he could point pikes by rubbing them 
back and forth on a certain gritty stone he 
had. Other men brought their pikes to 
him to be sharpened. Then they found 

that they could sharpen them themselves 
on other stones. The sharp edge of a cliff 
was found to be particularly good for this 
purpose, and, when it was rubbed dull, an- 
other cliff-edge was looked out. Then, by 
some accident, the dulled cliff-edge was 
broken off, and a new edge, possibly even 
sharper than the old natural edge, was pre- 
sented. The step was not long from this 
discovery to designedly breaking off cliff- 
edges. Then some one discovered that the 
broken piece, fixed so as to be steady, or 
held in the hands, would also cut. When 
the stick-sharpener found that he could hold 
the stick firmly and trim it by passing over 
it the sharp stone held in the hand, he had 
a flint knife. Another series of experi- 
ments led to inserting the sharp stone into 
a handle, and another series to the differ- 
entiation of stones of different shapes and 
sizes for various purposes. Parallel with 
these processes were those of the develop- 
ment of cords for tying, from the first acci- 
dental shred of bark to fabricated strings 
of twisted bark or cut strips of hide. 

Parental Peculiarities in Fishes and 
Frogs. Fish and frogs arc not usually re- 
garded as very careful parents, but a few 
species exercise something like a particular 
care for their young. Sticklebacks build 
nests for the reception of the eggs, and the 
males watch them and defend them against 
intruders. The males of sea-horses {Hippo- 
campi) and pipe-fishes are provided with 
pouches in the under side of the body, re- 
minding us of those of the opossum, in 
which the eggs are put after having been 
cast by the female, and are cared for till 
they are developed. These pouches seem 
also to be a kind of home for the young. 
The female of the genus Solenostoma also 
has a pouch, formed by the union of the 
ventral fins with the body, in which the 
ejrS are laid and hatched, and this is fur- 
nished with a series of long, thread-like 
bodies bearing small projections, for the 
attachment of the eggs, and possibly for 
the nutrition of the young. The skin and 
tissues of the under-body of the mother As- 
predo y when the egg-laying season comes 
round, assumes a soft, spongy texture, to 
which the eggs adhere till they are hatched, 
when the skin becomes smooth again. The 


l 37 

male of the Arins of Ceylon and the Chio- 
nais of the Sea of Galilee carry the eggs in 
the back part of the mouth. The eggs of 
dog-fishes, sharks, skates, and rays are in- 
closed in capsules which in texture resem- 
ble a bit of sea-weed. The mother-frog of 
the Alytes obstetricans lays her eggs in long 
chains of sixty or more. The male takes 
this string, twines it around his thighs, and 
retires till the young are ready to leave the 
ejrg : then he goes into the water, and the 
young swim out. The eggs of the Ameri- 
can frogs are placed in pouches in the back 
of the mother, and in the Surinam toad the 
egg and the tadpole go through their full 
development thus inclosed, each in its own 
cell, till, when they emerge, they differ only 
in size from the parent. More than one 
hundred and twenty of these tadpole-cells 
have been counted in the back of a single 
female of this species. A Chilian frog has ' 
the organs, corresponding with the " vocal 
sacs" of our bull-frogs greatly distended, ! 
and the young are hatched in these. The j 
exaggeration of these organs has produced j 
more or less of distortion in other parts of 
the animal. 

Happy Tenant-Farmers. A writer in 
" Chambers's Journal " holds up Lord Tolle- j 
mache, of Peckforton Castle, Cheshire, as 
a landlord who has found a plan of dealing 
with his tenants that satisfies his farmers, 
his laborers, and himself, and which is work- 
ing with encouraging results. This propri- 
etor set out to establish cottage-farms upon 
his estate, for the purpose of attaining three 
results : To satisfy the natural and praise- 
worthy desire of the laborers to have a cow, 
and land to maintain it ; to train the rising 
generation of laborers' children from infan- 
cy in dairying and agricultural pursuits ; 
and to secure a supply of high-class labor- 
ers for his large tenant-farmers. All of 
these results are in process of accomplish- 
ment. The cottage-farms consist of house- 
inclosures the houses being built in pairs 
and fitted with conveniences of about half 
a rood of garden-land each, with a tract 
attached, including pasture, of about three 
acres, and are leased at a fixed rent of fifty 
dollars a year, for twenty-one years. The 
laborers thus housed are declared markedly 
superior to those of their class in most 

counties. "Their wives are robust, their 
children are unusually intelligent, and the 
social atmosphere of the neighborhood is 
exhilarating. In every house visited the 
furniture was good and excellently cared 
for. Neatness and cleanliness were evi- 
dently habitual. . . . And it is the proud 
boast of the neighborhood that the laborers 
on the Tollemache estates are unexcelled 
in England." As a consequence of this 
system, "while dread and perplexity per- 
vade the shires, the happy dwellers upon 
Lord Tollemache's estate are at peace. Ev- 
ery large farm is occupied, and the obtain- 
ing of one is the great object of those liv- 
ing outside." 

Automatic Fire - Extingnishers. Pro- 
fessor Silvanus P. Thompson, in a recent 
address before the Society of Arts, dwelt 
upon the fact that great fires usually owe 
their magnitude and their consequent ter- 
rors to the circumstance that a certain in- 
terval of time necessarily elapses before 
any application is made to extinguish them 
because no one is at hand and ready to 
act on the instant. It is to the fatal two 
minutes or five minutes that pass before 
help arrives, that the mischief is due. Noth- 
ing but a self-acting or automatic system, 
which will operate at the right moment and 
at the very spot, without the intervention of 
the human hand, will meet the case. Au- 
tomatic systems exist, and are of several 
kinds, and efficient. Automatic sprinklers 
are self-acting valves connected with a sys- 
tem of water-pipes placed in the ceiling of 
a room, which, on the outbreak of a fire, 
open and distribute water in a shower or 
spray exactly at the place where the fire 
breaks out. The apparatus may be arranged 
so that, whenever it is called into operation 
by the heat, it shall sound an alarm-bell 
and summon aid to the spot. These devices 
are relied upon in many of the manufactur- 
ing establishments of New England, with 
an estimated reduction of the risk of con- 
flagration to one twentieth of what it for- 
merly was. Several designs for sprinklers 
depend for their efficacy on the melting of 
some kind of easily fusible solder or cement 
by the heat of the incipient fire, and the 
consequent loosening of the valve which 
holds the water back. The obvious requi- 

i 3 8 


sites of a good sprinkler are that the solder 
should fuse at a low and well-defined tem- 
perature, without any appreciable prior soft- 
ening; that the mechanism should not be 
liable to get out of order or stick ; that the 
parts opened by heat should be capable of 
ready replacement without skilled labor; 
that there should be no leakage at the 
valve ; and that the quantity of solder to be 
melted should be small, and so placed that 
it is not cooled by contact with too great a 
mass of metal, or exposed to the drip of the 
opening valve. Closely allied to the auto- 
matic sprinkler proper is the system of 
sprinkling by perforated pipes through an 
automatic valve. The automatic fire-door, 
which should not be of iron, because it curls 
up, but of wood protected by sheathings of 
tin-plate, is arranged to shut on an inclined 
track, and is kept open by a rod made with 
a scarf -joint in two parts twisted in the 
center, and secured by a fusible solder ; or 
the door may be held by a cord holding a 
weight, the fall of which releases the door ; 
the fall to be produced by the melting of a 
solder set in some convenient part of the 
cord. Another class of devices depends 
upon the introduction into the electric cir- 
cuit of a fusible link, the melting of which 
breaks the circuit ; or into the broken cir- 
cuit of a strained catgut band, the contrac- 
tion of which by the heat brings the wires 
into contact. In one of the applications of 
this system a reservoir of carbonic acid is 
opened and the acid distributed. Mr. John 
has invented an arrangement for making the 
hand grenade extinguisher automatic. He 
proposes to hang the grenade at the top of 
a room in a sort of a cage, which is pro- 
vided with a small button held together with 
fusible alloy. When that is affected by the 
ascending hot air, the button bursts, and the 
cage opens and allows the grenade to fall, 
while an iron weight follows it, and, break- 
ing it in mid-air, causes the liquid to be 
sprinkled about. 

Parasitic Fungi on Plants. Professor 
T. J. Burrill, in a paper of the Illinois State 
Laboratory of Natural History on the para- 
sitic fungi of the State, remarks with ref- 
erence to the nature of these pests, that 
" during the last part of the first half of 
this century learned discussions arose upon 

the specific distinction between the parasite 
and the host, and esteemed botanists held 
the view that what was taken for the for- 
mer was but a diseased condition of the lat- 
ter the rust of wheat, for example, was 
only the degraded cell-tissues of the wheat 
itself. Such difference of opinion, however, 
no longer exists among those who have pos- 
session of the information now acquired. 
The tissues of higher plants do not change 
by any process of degradation or transfor- 
mation into the things called fungi, neither 
do the latter originate in any other manner 
than as descendants of pre-existing forms 
through as rigid specific lines as can be 
traced among any animals or plants. It is 
known, too, that however much the fungus 
is found within the tissues of the host-plant, 
it began its growth outside of the latter, 
and gained introduction only by forcible en- 
trance. Spores are never taken up by ab- 
sorption and carried by the aqueous cur- 
rents from part to part of the plant. The 
fungus passes through the tissues very much 
as roots pass through soil, sometimes appar- 
ently without in any degree successful op- 
position, sometimes nearly or quite baffled 
in the struggle by the mechanical and physio- 
logical resistances of the host-plant." 

The Punjab. The Punjab derives its 
name which means " five waters " from 
the five great rivers traversing it the Jhe- 
lum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas, and Sutlej which, 
united, flow into the Indus about five hun- 
dred miles above its mouth. In early times 
the country was called the land of the 
" seven rivers," and the Indus itself, on the 
one side, and the Saraswati, on the other 
side, were counted in addition to the five 
streams already named. The Saraswati, 
according to General R. Maclagan, presents 
an interesting problem. All the other rivers 
of the seven take their rise in the snows of 
lofty mountains, and, being fed from unfail- 
ing sources, are always great streams ; but 
the Saraswati rises in the low outer hills, 
depends on periodical rains only, and, while 
subject to floods, is dry for a great part of 
the vear. Even in the flood season, the 
water with which its upper valley is inun- 
dated runs off so quickly that it all disap- 
pears before it can reach the Sutlej or the 
Indus. Yet in the ancient Indian writings 



it is described as a mighty river like the 
others. The name, which means "having 
running water," seems to mark it as a con- 
stant as well as powerful stream, and is ap- 
plied as an epithet to the Indus and other 
great rivers. The volume of the stream 
may have been partly affected by the changes 
which the country in general has undergone, 
but a considerable part of the discrepancy 
must be attributed to the poetic character 
of the Vedas and the imperfect knowledge 
which the Sanskrit people may have pos- 
sessed of the character of this river. In the 
later writing, dating from about the sixth 
century b. C, the Saraswati is said to sink 
into the earth and to pass underground to 
join the Ganges and the Jumna at their con- 
fluence. The people had then gone farther 
into the country, and had become better ac- 
quainted with the Saraswati. 

Influence of Direct Solar Heat on Vege- 
tation. Mr. M. Buysman has published a 
paper on the " Influence of Direct Sunlight 
on Vegetation." On account of the con- 
stant high temperature in the tropical re- 
gions, plants there are less dependent on 
direct solar heat than in the temperate and 
frigid zones, but there are some even there 
which require thi3 condition for their luxu- 
riant growth. Among these are the date- 
palm and the sugar-cane. In the warm 
temperate zone, the orange grows best in 
the direct sunlight, and the vine requires 
the heat of after-summer to ripen its fruits. 
Everywhere, whether in the warm or tem- 
perate region, corn is grown with success 
wherever there is in summer direct sun- 
light enough to ripen its grains. On high- 
lands, the influence of insolation is very 
much increased. But the solar warmth of 
the after-summer is necessary to ripen the 
fruits of the most important plants ; and 
it is for lack of this, and not from any de- 
ficiency in the mean temperature, that the 
vine can not be cultivated successfully in 
cloudy England. The limit of corn culti- 
vation ascends on the continent generally 
farther to the north than on the shores. In 
Norway, it reaches 70 ; at Fort Norman, 
Canada, 65 ; at Yakutsk, Siberia, 62 ; on 
the northeast shores of Asia and the north- 
eastern shores of America, nearly to 50 ; 
on the western shores of America, 57. No- ! 

where else is the influence of insolation 
more distinctly observed than in the Arctic 
regions. Richardson remarks, of the vicin- 
ity of Slave River, near 60 north latitude, 
that he had never felt the heat of the trop- 
ics so oppressive as he experienced it on 
some occasions in those regions, though the 
sun's rays are there always horizontal in- 
stead of vertical, as i3 the case in the trop- 
ical countries. This is because in summer 
the sun rests above the horizon. In Nova 
Zembla the vegetation is, in places exposed 
to the sun's rays, " like an arctic flower- 
garden," for the surface of the soil is not 
covered with grass as in the temperate re- 
gions ; and the flowers are of a much greater 
size than the leaves. In the Tundra of Si- 
beria, on the declivities of hills sheltered 
from the winds and exposed vertically to 
the sun's rays, the same herbaceous vegeta- 
tion, with its large, splendidly colored flow- 
ers, is observed, but this is not the case in 
plains where the sunlight in its horizontal 
direction can not have so much influence on 
the vegetation of the frozen ground. There- 
fore these plains are in general really des- 
erts, covered only with moss. Insolation is 
also the cause of the rich vegetation in 
some parts of the mountains in the tem- 
perate zone. Even in the most northern 
regions there can be a rich vegetation 
where the plants in sheltered localities are 
exposed to the sun. Several instances are 
mentioned by Mr. Buysman in which plants 
have been found blooming in these regions 
while their roots were frozen. 

A Bee Nuisance. Iff. Delpech, of the 
Hygienic Council of the Department of the 
Seine, has published a report on the damage 
done by bees and the dangers resulting 
from the existence of apiaries in the city 
of Paris. The bees, it appears, have be- 
come a real and formidable nuisance in 
some parts of Paris, especially in the neigh- 
borhood of the sugar-refineries and the rail- 
way-stations, where hundreds of stands are 
kept. The extent of their depredations 
upon the Say sugar-refinery is estimated at 
25,000 francs, or $5,000, a year. A glass 
filled with sirup will be emptied by them 
in less than two hours; and, if a trap is 
set, more than a hectolitre, or nearly three 
bushels of them, may be caught in a day. 



The laborers in the refinery, who have to 
work half naked, and whose skin is soiled 
with molasses, suffer greatly from them, so 
much that operations have to be suspended 
at times. Children in the schools near the 
bee-stands are frequently stung, and horses 
passing in the neighborhood are in constant 
danger. M. Delpech maintains that bees 
are in reality much more dangerous than is 
generally believed. He makes a triple classi- 
fication of the accidents that may arise from 
the wounds they inflict: 1. Trifling acci- 
dents, with heat and swelling, followed by 
a feeling of oppression and itching; 2. 
More serious accidents, which are cured, 
beginning with the same symptoms as the 
former, followed by great weakness, pre- 
cordial anxiety, cold in the extremities, nau- 
sea, insupportable headache, often by net- 
tle-rash, and sometimes by convulsive and 
tetanic symptoms; 3. Accidents resulting 
in death, which often speedily follows stings 
in the face, head, neck, etc. The fatal ter- 
mination is preceded by two kinds of symp- 
toms those resulting from local lesions, 
the exceptional gravity of which is due to 
the seat of the injury, as where a swelling 
in the throat is produced resulting in as- 
phyxia ; and those in which the toxic action 
of the poison introduced into the circula- 
tion seems to be the immediate cause of 
death. In this case we have a condition of 
syncope and asphyxia, with signs of con- 
vulsion and tetanus. A considerable num- 
ber of cases of death resulting from bee- 
stings are cited in the report. 

Ancient Honse Sanitation. Dr. *W. H. 

Corfield reviewed the " History of House 
Sanitation " in an address which he recently 
delivered, as president, before the English 
Society of Medical Officers of Health. The 
necessity of removing surplus rain-water for 
preventing dampness in the soil of resi- 
dences has been recognized from the most 
ancient times, and found emphatic expres- 
sion in Rome twenty -five hundred years 
ago, when a grand drainage system for the 
city, a part of which is still in operation, 
was constructed by Tarquin the Elder ; and 
the main drain of his work, " The Cloaca 
Maxima," is styled by Dr. Corfield "the 
great pattern of all drains." The device 
for deodorizing excrement by mixing it with 

dry earth is at least as old as the time 
of Moses. According to Livy, the Cloaca 
Maxima was used also to carry away the 
filth of the city ; and, according to Mr. Bald- 
win Latham, the water-closet is a very an- 
cient device, the use of which "has been 
traced to all nations that had arrived at a 
certain degree of refinement." They were 
probably of Asiatic origin. They wei'e in- 
troduced into Rome during the republic; 
and remains of them have been found in the 
Palace of the Cassars at Rome, and in the 
ruins of Pompeii. 

A IVew Prospective Source of Heat. Mr. 

J. Starkie Gardner has published a paper on 
the utilization of the underground heat of the 
earth. He holds that the crust of the earth 
is thin, and that its movements are more 
compatible with a thickness of ten than of 
fifty miles. The deepest artesian well in 
the world is being bored at Pesth, Hungary, 
with the object of securing an unlimited 
supply of warm water for the city baths, 
and has already reached a depth of more 
than three thousand feet. The present tem- 
perature of the water is 161 Fahr., and the 
borings will be prosecuted till water of 178 
is obtained. " It needs no seer," says Mr. 
Gardner, " to pierce the not distant future 
when we shall be driven to every expedient 
to discover modes of obtaining heat without 
the consumption of fuel, and the perhaps 
far more remote future when we shall bore 
shafts down to the liquid layer, and conduct 
our smelting operations at the pit's mouth." 

Bacteria nnder nigh Pressure. M. A. 

Certes has reported on experiments which he 
has made on the decomposition of organic 
matter under high pressure, with the pur- 
pose of ascertaining whether the process 
takes place in the depths of the sea in the 
same manner as in the open air. He found 
that bacteria thrive and increase under 
pressures of from three hundred to six hun- 
dred atmospheres, almost as in a normal 
temperature, except that the microbes are 
different and the results of their action have 
only a feeble instead of a strong odor, and 
are acid instead of alkaline in their reaction. 
M. Certes will continue his experiments in 
the winter at the normal temperature of the 
sea depths, or 39. 



Canadian Forest PreserYation. In his 

paper at the American Forestry Congress, 
on "Forest Preservation in Canada," Mr. 
A. T. Drummond sketched a plan for the 
preservation and renewal of forests which 
might in some respects be equally applica- 
ble to the United States and Canada. Leases 
of public timber areas should be restricted 
to definite periods of five or at most seven 
years, with a rule that, after the expiration 
of the lease, the land should have rest for 
twenty years to allow the young timber to 
grow up. The timber limits should be re- 
stricted in size to about fifty square miles, 
as is now done in Manitoba. This would 
enable the Government more systematically 
to carry out the system of alternate leases 
and rests. The production of square tim- 
ber should be discouraged, on account of 
the great waste of material in forming the 
square log, and of the additional food for 
forest-fires which the waste material cre- 
ates. The cutting on public lands of trees 
under twelve inches at the stump should be 
punishable by a heavy fine. This would 
have the effect of preserving the younger 
trees till they attained a merchantable size. 
The starting of forest-fires should be made 
criminal. Wherever the forests have been 
cut over by the lumbermen and wherever 
fires have swept through areas of public 
lands not specially suitable or available for 
settlement, reserving or replanting with 
proper kinds of timber should be attended 
to. Lastly, the forests should be put under 
the charge of suitable officers. 

Sea Air and Mountain Air. In a paper 
on "the Climatic Treatment of Phthisis," 
Dr. Harold Williams, of Boston, considers 
the question of what conditions make a 
climate say of the sea or the mountains, to 
either of which patients are generally sent 
favorable for the treatment of consumption. 
They can not be conditions of moisture, or 
of atmospheric pressure, or of variability of 
temperature, for these are opposite on the 
sea and on mountains. The only conditions 
in which the two classes of location agree 
with any precision are those of purity of 
air and of the proportion of ozone constitu- 
ent. Sea air contains small quantities of 
saline particles, and of iodine and bromine, 
while mountain air is usually lower in tem- 

perature and more diathermanous ; but these 
are not regarded as essential qualities. One 
fact to be regarded in considering the ques- 
tion is that, with or without treatment, cer- 
tain cases of phthisis naturally tend to re- 
covery. Another fact is that any change of 
climate which is often accompanied by a 
change of scene, of habits, of exercise, of 
food, of dress, of thought, and of surround- 
ings is of importance in cases of disease. 
When all the meteorological differences be- 
tween the air of the mountains and the air 
of the sea are summed up, the sea-air seems 
to possess certain possible advantage over 
that of the mountains, " in that it is warmer 
and purer, and that it presents slighter va- 
riations, both of temperature and humidity. 
But this, it must be remembered, is the air 
over the sea itself, air that can only be pre- 
scribed through the medium of ocean voy- 
ages, a prescription open to the grave ob- 
jections of idiosyncrasy against the sea ; 
sea-sickness ; anxiety at leaving friends, 
fears of dangers, lack of companionship, 
variety, and exercise ; and, above all, inferi- 
ority of food. Added to which is the diffi- 
culty of selecting a voyage which shall ex- 
tend over a sufficiently long period of time." 
Hence sea air, though perhaps the best of 
all kinds, is really available for only a few. 
Island and seaboard stations resemble most 
nearly the sea, but differ from it with re- 
spect to variations of temperature and hu- 
midity, and purity of the air. " Physiologi- 
cally speaking, therefore, it may be said that 
mountain air is no better than island or sea- 
board air, because it is colder and more lia- 
ble to sudden and excessive changes of tem- 
perature, while, on the other hand, it may 
be contended that island or seaboard air is 
no better than mountain air, because of its 
diminished purity." An important factor 
always to be consulted is the idiosyncrasy 
of the particular patient, for or against the 
sea or the mountains. "We must admit 
that, in the present state of our knowledge, 
the meteorological differences of climate 
have been proved to be of little importance 
in the treatment of phthisis." But there 
are probably beneficial effects of a change 
of climate which we may regard as due to 
factors common to all groups of health re- 
sorts, and which vary only in degree. These 
factors are : the change itself ; the purity 



of the air ; the increased number of hours 
of open-air exercise permitted ; and the im- 
proved hygienic surroundings of the patient. 
An ideal health resort for consumption 
" should be sparsely and newly settled. It 
should possess a pure water-supply and ade- 
quate drainage. It should be of a dry and 
porous soil, and should be favorably situ- 
ated with respect to neighboring heights 
and marshes and prevailing winds. It 
should be equable in temperature and 
should possess the maximum of pleasant 
weather. It should not be so hot as to be 
enervating, nor so cold as to prevent out- 
door exercise and proper ventilation of the 
houses. It should afford plenty of amuse- 
ment ; it should not be crowded with con- 
sumptives, and it should be sufficiently 
unfashionable to admit of hygienic dress. 
Above all, it should afford suitable accom- 
modations for the invalid." 

Intelligence of Swallows. Professor 
Grant Allen, speaking of swallows, says 
that no other race has lived in such close 
connection with man and yet learned so 
little from his companionship. Still, they 
show some signs of intelligence. In mak- 
ing the mud walls of their nests, for in- 
stance, they allow each layer to dry thor- 
oughly before proceeding to top it by 
another course. In acquiring the habit of 
building in chimneys, which has been car- 
ried to swallows by the westward course 
of civilization, they exhibit some faculty of 
adaptation. As a rule they place their nest 
five or six feet below the top of the chim- 
ney, to keep it out of the way of owls, not 
directly over the kitchen-fire, but over an 
adjoining flue. And it requires some art to 
get down into the shaft. The emergence of 
the young swallows from this place is a re- 
markable instance of intelligent action still 
wavering on the brink of mere hardened in- 
stinct. As soon as they are strong enough 
to move, the chicks clamber rather than fly 
up the perpendicular shaft, by beating their 
wings " in some ineffectual compromise be- 
tween a flop and a flutter." Often they fail 
and fall crushed to the hearth. Then, hav- 
ing reached the summit, it is some time be- 
fore they venture upon flight, and they ac- 
quire the art only by degrees as it were. 
Mr. Romanes has collected a few yet more 

unequivocal cases of intelligence in swal- 
lows. In one case a bell-wire, on which a 
swallow's nest partly rested, twice demol- 
ished it. Convinced that it was a dangerous 
object, they constructed a tunnel for the wire 
to pass through, and were troubled by it no 
more. In another case a pair of swallows 
were molested by sparrows trying to dispos- 
sess them of their nest. They thereupon 
modified the entrance to their home, so that, 
instead of opening by a simple hole, it was 
carried on outward in the form of a tunnel. 
Instances are recorded where several swal- 
lows have combined to drive away sparrows 
which had robbed a pair of comrades of 
their nest. 

A Pony Champion." Land and Water" 
has a remarkable story of a pony which 
saved its master from destruction by a sav- 
age dog. The master, a clergyman residing 
in a lonely neighborhood, was going, with 
the pony, a retriever, and a Dachshund, while 
obeying a call to visit a sick parishioner in 
the night, past a shepherd's cottage where 
a very fierce dog was kept. This dog, hav- 
ing got loose, made an attack on the party, 
trying the retriever first and then the Dachs- 
hund. The pony became frightened, and 
the master dismounted, when the dog turned 
upon him. The affair became very serious 
for the clergyman ; the Dachshund had 
been put out of the combat, the retriever had 
hid behind the hedge, and he had to keep 
up the fight alone, with no other weap- 
on than a riding-whip. Then he "heard a 
scampering, and the next moment the faith- 
ful pony rushed up and darted so suddenly 
between the combatants that the dog turned 
tail and fled, evidently thinking the pony to 
be a larger and dangerous edition of him- 
self. The gallant little fellow pursued the 
cur until he was fairly chased back to the 
cottage-door. Then he returned quite do- 
cile to his master, and the friendly quartet 
were able to continue their way in peace 
and safety once more." 


A reproduction in phototype of seven- 
teen pages of a Syriac manuscript, contain- 
ing the epistles known as the " Antilegome- 
na," is to be published by the Johns Hopkins 
University, under the editorial supervision 



of Professor Isaac H. Hall. The manuscript 
consists of the Acts and Catholic Epistles, 
and the Pauline Epistles, with Hebrews, to- 
gether with tables to find Easter, etc., tables 
of ecclesiastical lessons, and a poem giving 
the history of the genesis of the manu- 

Professor Germain See, of Paris, re- 
marks, concerning the alimentary impor- 
tance of water, that it is essential to dissolve 
the salts taken in with the food and elimi- 
nate them from the system. He denies that 
man can live on a purely vegetable diet, 
and points out that the vegetarians them- 
selves confess the fallacy of their theory by 
using eggs, milk, and butter, by which they 
make up for the want of solid meat. 

Professor H. A. Rowland, of Johns 
Hopkins University, has completed a photo- 
graphic map of the solar spectrum, from 
wave-length 3,680 to 5,7^0, and has nearly 
ready the portion above 3,680, to the ex- 
tremity of the ultra-violet, wave-length 
about 3,100. A scale of wave-lengths has 
been added, and the whole is claimed to be 
more exact and give greater detail than any 
other map in existence. While the error in 
wave-length at no part exceeds ttotiWi the 
wave-lengths of more than 200 lines in the 
spectrum have been accurately determined 
to 5 00* 00 P art - 

A comical feature of the almanacs pub- 
lished for use in Belgium has been brought 
to light. With the exception of two scien- 
tific works, whose editions are limited, they 
are all 495,000 out of a total of 500,000 
copies a year calculated for Paris. They 
give the times of the rising of the sun and 
moon, in which the local difference is often 
fifteen minutes, for Paris, making at cer- 
tain seasons the day half an hour longer 
or shorter than it actually is in Belgium ! 
Eclipses are calculated in detail as for Paris, 
even if they will not be seen at all in Bel- 
gium ; and, if such an event should occur 
as an eclipse visible in Belgium which will 
not be seen in Paris, the almanac will know 
nothing about it. The " Grand double Al- 
manack de Liege " does not recognize any of 
the discoveries that have been made in the 
solar system during the last three quarters 
of a century! 

In addition to three cases previously re- 
ported for the current season, the " Lancet " 
records, in three weeks, three other deaths 
occasioned by accidents in playing foot-ball. 
In one case, the victim was kicked in the 
stomach by an opposing player ; the second 
case was also traced to a kick in the stom- 
ach, followed in time by fits ; and, in the 
third case, the player's head, in the rush, 
was doubled under his breast, and the spinal 
cord was ruptured. Evidently a reform is 
needed in the conduct of this game. 

An Association for the Protection of 
Plants was formed at Geneva in January, 
1883. On the 1st of January, 1885, it num- 
bered 226 members, resident in eight can- 
tons of Switzerland, with correspondents in 
France, Belgium, England, and Italy. It has 
established a garden of acclimatization for 
Alpine plants, and has distributed the seeds 
of five hundred species for cultivation in 
other countries. It has also received, by 
gifts or exchange, seeds from other coun- 
tries for its own botanical garden. Its latest 
" Bulletin " contains a paper on a local flora 
near Geneva, and a paper by Henry Corre- 
von, director of the garden at Geneva, rec- 
ommending the cultivation of the edelweiss. 

M. Forel has made a communication on 
the behavior of rivers derived from glaciers, 
like the Rhine and the Rhone, when they 
run across lakes. They have been found 
to preserve their distinct existence, and to 
continue their course in deep ravines exca- 
vated through the lake-bottoms. The ra- 
vine of the Rhine in the Lake of Constance 
has been traced for five kilometres in length 
and to 1'65 metres below the level of the 
water. Where it is most largely developed, 
it is six hundred metres wide and seventy 
metres deep. The ravine of the Rhone is 
of similar dimensions, and has been traced 
for six kilometres. The course of these 
ravines is tortuous. They appear to be 
of recent origin, or in course of formation, 
and are a result of the superior density of 
the cold, sediment-charged glacial water of 
the rivers. 

The anti-vivisectionists predicted, some 
years ago, that the investigators to whose 
objects they are " anti " would come at last 
to experiment on the human subject. Mr. 
W. Mattieu Williams has become aware of 
three instances in which this horrible pre- 
diction has been fulfilled, in each case with 
the full consent of the subject and without 
injury to him. Pasteur has mutilated hu- 
man skin and moistened the blood with 
the poisonous secretions of mad rabbits. 
Dr. B. W. Richardson has invented a pain- 
less cutting-knife, and has tested it upon his 
own arm. And Mr. Harrison Branthwaite, 
in the interest of temperance, has adminis- 
tered brandy, for the purpose of testing its 
thermic effects, to three classes of persons 
habitual drunkards, moderate drinkers, and 

MM. Millardet and Gayon, having ma- 
nured the vine with sulphate of copper, 
mixed with lime, find that most of the cop- 
per is deposited in the leaf, while merely a 
doubtful trace can be found in the juice of 
the grape. Other experiments, with other 
salts and other plants, indicate that the 
chlorophyl of the leaves is the most active 
agent in picking up the foreign matter. 



The London "Sanitary World" pub- 
lishes regulaily a " Black-list," including 
the names of dealers who have been proved 
to be selling falsified or adulterated goods. 
It intends to secure for this list the records 
of all proceedings under the Foods Act, and 
against the owners of rookeries, throughout 
England, so that the people of all the vil- 
lages can learn at once who is cheating them 
and selling them unwholesome goods. 

A new artificial fire-proof stone or plas- 
ter has been invented, the principal con- 
stituent of which is the mineral asbestine, a 
silicate of magnesium. This is mixed with 
powdered flint and caustic potash, and with 
sufficient water-glass (silicate of soda) to 
make it into an adhesive plaster. It is fur- 
ther mixed with sand before use. It does 
not require lathing, but adheres to a smooth 
surface, and may be applied upon a wall or 
ceiling of sheet-iron. 

For fixing soils in embankments, or 
where there is wash, reliance is usually 
placed upon the roots of grass or other 
plants ; and long delays are often incurred, 
with frequent renewals and repairs of gul- 
leys, before a network of roots can be ob- 
tained capable of giving a firm foundation. 
M. Cambier, of the French railway service, 
has found in the double poppy a most 
valuable plant for this purpose. It grows 
quickly, and helps to support the soil in 
about two weeks, while, at the end of three 
or four months, it forms a stronger net- 
work of roots than any grass known. It is 
an annual, but sows itself after the first 

According to the Newcastle (England) 
"Journal," Mr. Walter McDonald, of Ilder- 
ton, near Wooler, while trying to clear a 
dam which had been clogged by a freshet, 
fell into a snow-drift, and might have been 
buried in it but for the extraordinary sa- 
gacity of his collie dog. He was struggling 
to reach the branch of a tree that overhung 
him, which the dog observing, it sprang at 
the branch, pulled it down, and held it with- 
in its master's reach till he was able to get 
a hold upon it. 

Mr. Clemens Winkler, of Freiburg, Sax- 
ony, announces the discovery by himself, in 
the new mineral argyrodite, of a new non- 
metallic element, closely related to arsenic 
and antimony, to which he has given the 
name of Germanium. 


Professor John L. Campbell, of the 
chair of Geology and Chemistry in Wash- 
ington and Lee University, died at Lexing- 
ton, Virginia, February 2d, in the sixty-fifth 
year of his age. He had been a professor at 

Lexington since 1851. He was the author 
of contributions on "Virginian Geology in 
American Science," his last paper having 
been a review of the geological reports of 
Professor W. B. Rogers. 

The death of M. Jules Jamin, Perpetual 
Secretary of the Section of Physical Science 
in the Paris Academy of Sciences, is an- 
nounced. He was born in 1813, was elected 
a member of the Academy in 1858, was an 
eloquent teacher and debater, and a fre- 
quent contributor to the " Revue des Deux 
Mondes " ; he published many papers in the 
" Transactions " of the Academy, was author 
of a course in physics for the Polytechnic 
School, and had patented an electric light. 

Mr. Charles William Peach, who was 
distinguished as a field geologist of the 
southern coasts of England, died in Edin- 
burgh on the 28th of February, in his 
eighty-sixth year. He was the son of a 
country mechanic and inn - keeper, and 
served in the revenue coast - guards for 
twenty years, and afterward in the cus- 
toms, for pay hardly ever much exceeding 
five hundred dollars a year. He was an 
industrious collector, and an indefatigable 
hunter of new species ; he became very early 
acquainted with the marine fauna of his dis- 
tricts ; first detected the lower Silurian fos- 
sils in the supposed Azoic rocks of Corn- 
wall ; furnished the Polytechnic Society in 
1843 a valuable paper on land and fresh- 
water shells and marine animals; discov- 
ered the fossils in the altered rocks of the 
Highlands, which enabled Murchison to elu- 
cidate the structure of that region ; and has 
been said by a living geologist to have done 
more in the field of old red sandstone fos- 
sils "than all other geologists put to- 

Charles James Edward Morren, Pro- 
fessor of Botany in the University of Liege, 
died February 28th, in his sixty-third year. 
He was a son of Professor Charles Morren, 
of the University of Ghent, who was after- 
ward Professor of Botany in the University 
of Liege. Being called upon to assist his 
father in teaching, he prepared, as his espe- 
cial examination thesis for the doctorate, a 
dissertation on green and colored leaves, by 
which he first became known to the botan- 
ists of Europe. He succeeded his father as 
full professor in 1858. He was founder of 
the Botanical Institute of Liege ; editor of 
the " Belgique Horticole," and author of nu- 
merous memoirs and academic dissertations 
on questions of botany, chemistry, and vege- 
table physiology. 

Dr. Heinrich Fischer, mineralogist and 
Professor at the Freiburg University, is dead. 
He was best known by his book on " Jadite 
and Nephrite." 




JUNE, 1886. 


By W. D. LE SUETJK, B. A. 

TTNDER the title of "Evolution and Theology," Dr. Lyman Ab- 
vJ bott, in the December number of the " Andover Review," under- 
takes to indicate certain doctrines to which the philosophy of evolution 
will have to adapt itself, under penalty of being brought to naught. 
These doctrines, he seems to consider, lend themselves in an especial 
manner to vigorous and effective pulpit treatment ; and his advice to 
the clergy is to insist as powerfully as possible upon these, and to 
"leave severely alone doubtful interpretations of the third chapter of 
Genesis, and doubtful discussions respecting the origin of the race." 
In other words, the difficulties raised by science in regard to the Bibli- 
cal account of creation are to be quietly ignored, while all possible use 
is to be made for purposes of edification of such doctrines as appeal 
most powerfully to the religious emotions. One may agree with the 
writer that it is not well to spend time upon "doubtful interpreta- 
tions," and yet hold that it would not be useless to inquire whether a 
narrative accepted by thousands as historically true has any just claim 
to be so regarded. A certain passage in Homer might be considered 
by critics as hopelessly " corrupt " ; but the fact of our giving up the 
effort to interpret it would not stand in the way of our forming an 
opinion as to whether the Homeric tale of Troy was to be accepted as 
sober history. What simple-minded people want to know, in regard 
to the early chapters of Genesis, is whether or not they are true, and 
this issue can not be evaded by any talk about " doubtful interpreta- 
tions." What is meant, after all, by " doubtful interpretations " ? Is 
it meant that it is impossible to put any certain interpretation upon 
the chapters in question ? That difficulty was not felt in former times, 
when days counted as days, and the geological record was as yet un- 

VOL. XXIX. 10 


read. There is, however, probably no use in pressing this point fur- 
ther. Dr. Abbott simply formulates a policy the policy of those who 
know enough and have reflected sufficiently to understand that the 
recent work of science calls for some readjustment of ancient opinions 
even in theological matters, but who would prefer not to ascertain too 
precisely what the amount of that necessary readjustment is. There 
are others, of course, who make no terms with the scientific enemy, and 
persist in holding all declarations of Scripture as equally challenging 
and commanding the most submissive acceptance. Thus Mr. Moody, 
not long ago, desiring to flout the skeptics with an extreme example, 
declared his firm belief in the historical truth of the narrative of 
Jonah ! The doctrine of evolution does not trouble Mr. Moody in the 
least. He takes the Bible as he finds it, disdaining all criticism that 
does not start from the assumption of its infallibility. The position 
of Dr. Lyman Abbott is different : evolution troubles him just to this 
extent, that he would apparently like to chain it to three theological 
cannon-balls, and then let it roam about with whatever ease and free- 
dom might be possible to it under the circumstances. 

It becomes a question, therefore, whether the proposed limitations 
of the doctrine of evolution, or rather of philosophy in general, can 
be accepted without sacrifice of the supreme interests of truth. The 
latter truth in the widest sense is and must be the ultimate stand- 
ard. However valuable or important a system of thought may be in 
the eyes of its adherents, it can not safely be made a standard by which 
to test other doctrines : these may always claim a free and fair trial 
apart from all presumptions created by the credit attached to estab- 
lished opinions. Once make any system, the supreme arbiter, and an 
intellectual tyranny has been created, the ultimate effects of which can 
not fail to be disastrous. The world has seen such tyrannies in the 
past ; and, unhappily, is not rid of them in the present. The Romish 
Church is such a tyranny, setting itself up, as it does, as the supreme 
arbiter of truth. The Westminster Confession is the symbol of an- 
other tyranny of an essentially similar character. Could certain per- 
sons to-day have their way, a kind of composite evangelical doctrine 
would have its place in public-school instruction, and would thus be 
created into a tyranny over the community at large. " Ye know not 
what mind ye are of," was said by the founder of Christianity to some 
of the more zealous of his disciples ; and the remark might well be 
addressed to-day to those who are trying to gain for their private be- 
liefs the authority and support of the state. Could they have their 
way, the time would undoubtedly come when they would rue it. 

Before proceeding to define the doctrines by which he would pro- 
pose to check the hypothesis of evolution, Dr. Abbott assigns to the 
scientist and the theologian the fields in which they are respectively 
permitted to. work, and describes their respective methods of opera- 
tion. " The scientist," he tells us, " has external Nature for his field, 


and observation for his instrument of acquisition ; the theologian has 
the human mind for his field, and consciousness for the instrument of 
his observation." This seems to me, I must confess, a very singular 
utterance. In the first place, why should the scientist be said to 
have an "instrument of acquisition" namely, observation, and theology 
only an instrument of observation f In what sense can consciousness 
be said to be an " instrument of observation " ? And if it is an in- 
strument at all, how is it that its use is confined to the theologians ? 
No doubt the theologian requires consciousness in order to observe, 
but so, I fancy, does everybody else. These objections, however, tend 
only to show that Dr. Abbott has used some rather crude and ill-con- 
sidered expressions ; but when we pass to his dictum that natural 
science has to do only with external Nature, and not with the human 
mind the latter falling within the exclusive domain of theology a 
stronger protest becomes necessary. The word " natural " here pre- 
fixed to science seems almost as if it were intended to smooth the 
way for the acceptance of a larger doctrine than the writer cared to 
put expressly forward. What many would like to think is that science 
human science has nothing to do with mind. Dr. Abbott does not 
go as far as this : he only says " natural science," meaning, doubtless, in 
his own mind, physical science ; but those who want to hold the wider 
proposition will either overlook the word "natural" altogether, or will 
interpret it as opposed to "spiritual." The real question is, Does 
science such science as man can construct by the aid of his natural 
faculties throw any light on mind? If it does, then we are not left 
entirely to theology to interpret mind for us. If it does not, and if 
theology does, then let us place ourselves in the hands of theology ; 
for assuredly the subject is one on which we want all the light we can 
get. The real fact is, that science is pushing its researches into mind 
with no less vigor than into material things ; and in the face of such 
works as those of Bain, Spencer, Maudsley, Taine, Wundt, and 
many others, it sounds very odd to find a well-known and able writer 
claiming the whole field for theology. 

To proceed, however, the first restriction which the evolution 
philosophy is called upon to observe is expressed in the proposition 
that " we are the children of God." " We " who ? The whole hu- 
man family, it must be presumed, from the highest types of European 
and American civilization to the most degraded savages that walk the 
earth. This, we are told, is more than a revealed doctrine ; it is the 
verdict of " the universal consciousness." If so, why put in a caveat 
that evolution must not go counter to it ? Surely, if the very con- 
sciousness of the evolutionists themselves, in common with that of the 
masses of mankind, bears witness to this doctrine, it might be regarded 
as reasonably secure against attack from any quarter. Yet evidently 
Dr. Abbott, in spite of the sweeping character of his affirmation, has 
doubts in regard to what the evolution philosophy may do or attempt 


to do in the premises. How is this contradiction to be explained ? 
The explanation, as we conceive, lies here : There are two aspects of 
the doctrine to which the reverend doctor refers one the purely relig- 
ious, the other what we may call the historico-theological. In regard 
to the first of these he feels, and, as we hold, is justified in feeling, 
unbounded certainty ; in regard to the second, he does not feel so 
certain, and yet he can not help regarding it as essential to the integ- 
rity of the first. It is the latter to which he fears the solvent of evo- 
lution may be, if it has not already been, applied with disintegrating 

Let us explain this further. The statement that we are the chil- 
dren of God, in so far as it is an affirmation of consciousness, can only 
mean that we feel related to the highest object or ideal that our minds 
can frame. We may here make a new application of the poet's words : 

" 'Tis fife whereof our nerves are scant 
O life, not death, for which we pant; 
More life and fuller that I want." 

The "fuller life," for which we all, at one moment or another, pant, 
is that which comes of subjection to the higher law. We feel that 
evil in our nature bounds and hampers us on every side ; that through 
it our lives are rendered poor and incomplete. This thirst for a higher, 
fuller life, is as far removed as possible from mere self -worship, or any 
kind of moral dilettanteism ; seeing that what we seek is not an addi- 
tion to our individual forces for individual purposes, no mere higher 
form of culture, but rather the perfecting of our nature through con- 
scious relation with that which transcends and yet embraces it. " We 
grow in elevation and nobleness of nature just in proportion as we 
merge our individual life and happiness in the happiness and life of 
others." These words of Dr. Caird's ("Scotch Sermons," page 36) 
contain, as we think, in germ, the whole philosophy of religion. Mani- 
festly, it is impossible to conceive that evolution, or anything else, 
should ever destroy the forward and upward-reaching tendencies of 
human nature, or, in other words, affect, in its religious aspect, the 
affirmation that "we are children of God." Even those and in the 
present day they are many who through fear of being misunder- 
stood might refrain from using these precise words, would still be pre- 
pared to understand in them the substantial and essentially religious 
truth of man's dependence on and affinity with a higher unity than 
that of his individual organism. 

It is otherwise, however, with the same affirmation in its historico- 
theological aspect. The doctrine of evolution can only deal with facts, 
with these it does deal. If authentic history can show that the human 
race is descended by procreation, as Dr. Abbott says from God, in 
the same way as the Romans claimed to have been descended from 
iEneas and his band of Trojans, well and good ; evolution can have 


no more objection to that fact than to any other. Only in that case 
God would be a known term in a known series of phenomena ; and 
such a thing, we need hardly say, is scarcely conceivable by any mind 
raised above the condition of barbarism. Ancient history, of course, 
is full of just such definite statements. Romulus had the god Mars 
for his father ; iEneas the goddess Aphrodite for his mother, and so 
on ad infinitum. If Dr. Abbott means what he says about the human 
race in a literal sense, he should point us to the historical record ; 
and, it is needless to say, that record should not be one lending itself 
to an infinity of " doubtful interpretations." Where is the record ? 
But is it not perfectly manifest that, considered as the historical state- 
ment of what happened thousands of years ago, it is utterly impos- 
sible that the " universal consciousness " should bear witness to the 
procreation the word is Dr. Abbott's of the first man by the God 
of the book of Genesis ? It is said to be a wise child that knows its 
own father ; and, as to a child's being conscious who its own father 
is or was, the idea is simply irrational. It would seem as if Dr. 
Abbott, while discouraging inquiry into the meaning of the opening 
chapters of Genesis, desires, as far as possible, to save their credit, 
and so claims that consciousness confirms the account they contain, 
of the origin of mankind. Consciousness, however, does nothing of 
the kind could not, by any possibility, do anything of the kind and 
if the evolution philosophy should come into collision with the Mosaic 
account of man's creation, it will have to deal, not with an affirmation 
of the " universal consciousness," but simply with an ancient legend 
hardened into a dogma. It has had some experience already in deal- 
ing with such things, and need not quail at the prospect of another 
encounter. It is really very idle thus to try to frighten away Science 
from ground that it is entirely fitted to occupy. The effort irre- 
sistibly reminds one of the attempts that savages make to avert an 
eclipse by the vigorous beating of tom-toms. Unaffrighted by all 
the tom-toms of the pulpit and the theological press, modern science 
will press steadily forward, grasping at all facts, and reducing them, 
as fast as possible, to order and harmony. It is already concerning 
itself with the origin of mankind ; and has taught us more upon that 
subject than all the theologies and mythologies put together. We 
may claim to know now that primitive man had not a very profound 
or very enlarged consciousness of a divine descent, and that any ideas 
of divinity that he possessed were not inconsistent with a lively can- 
nibalism. But it is science that teaches us this, and not the book of 
Genesis, which starts man on his career with a respectable equipment 
of theological and industrial knowledge. Dr. Abbott may count with 
confidence upon a complete abstention on the part of science from any 
interference with the devout experiences or exercises of any human 
soul ; but, unless he wishes to see his counsels brought to naught, he 
will himself refrain from any attempt to check science in its career 


of discovery, or prevent it from drawing such conclusions as may- 
seem reasonable from the facts that come within its range. 

The second doctrine which the evolution hypothesis is solemnly 
warned not to contradict is that which affirms that " mankind has 
sinned and come short of the glory of God." Guilt and imperfection, 
we are told and, as the present writer thinks, truly are not synony- 
mous. " Sin is always a fall ; when we sin we go down from a higher 
to a lower life." Now, what the evolutionist is concerned to know, is 
whether he is required to affirm, or at the very least to refrain from 
denying, that man was originally created perfect, and that, from that 
condition of perfection, he fell by sin, more or less in the manner de- 
scribed in the third chapter of Genesis. Dr. Abbott is not as distinct 
upon this point as might be desired. Making all allowances for his 
natural desire to "leave severely alone doubtful interpretations of the 
third chapter of Genesis, and doubtful discussions respecting the origin 
of the race," we might still have expected him to tell us clearly 
whether he holds that the first human pair were created perfect 
" very good " from every point of view and whether this is what he 
requires the evolutionist also to believe. The latter might, I fear, have 
some trouble with a doctrine of this kind ; but if he is merely asked 
to believe that there is a radical difference between guilt and imper- 
fection, he will not only be able to toe the mark without difficulty, 
but, with the aid of Mr. Spencer, he will be able to discourse some- 
what pertinently on the differences between guilt and imperfection. 
The sense of guilt arises, he will say, when some higher law of con- 
duct, the moral authority of which has been established in the manner 
described in Chapter VII of the " Data of Ethics," has been set aside 
under the influence of some lower but more clamorous motive. Such 
lapses are incidental to man's upward struggle ; and in every such 
case he undoubtedly has the sense of a fall. The illustrations which 
Dr. Abbott gives of his meaning lead to the belief that he understands 
nothing more by guilt than the falling away from some recognized 
standard, some attained level, of conduct. If so, he has gone out of 
his way to give a very unnecessary warning to his evolutionist brother. 
" Every broken resolve," he says, " every high purpose lowered, every 
sacrifice of reverence to sensual desire, of conscience to passion, of love 
to greed, or ambition, or wealth, is a fall." Surely no decently-read 
person supposes there is anything in the evolution philosophy that 
conflicts with this. What the evolutionist is in doubt about is whether 
the story of the Fall, as embodied in Christian doctrine, is a true 
story whether the first human being was all made up of high pur- 
pose, reverence, conscience, and love, and whether from that pristine 
condition of purity he fell, by one act of disobedience, into that con- 
dition of utter corruption described by theologians. There is no use 
in mincing matters or using vague language. Either Dr. Abbott 
summons the evolutionist to incorporate this doctrine in his philoso- 


phy, or he does not. If be does, then there will be trouble ; for the 
evolutionist will ask for evidence that will scarcely be forthcoming. 
If he does not, but merely asks the evolutionist to allow in his system 
a place for the sense of sin, the reply of the latter will undoubtedly 
be : My dear sir, you are going to unnecessary trouble in this matter ; 
for the school to which I belong not only recognizes the fact to which 
you refer, but may even claim to have scientifically explained it years 

The third test-doctrine is that of redemption. Evolution must 
bow to this also, or else go on its way to destruction. At first sight 
the condition may seem hard, but Dr. Abbott has a rare faculty for 
minimizing difficulties. Just as he illustrated the Fall for us by refer- 
ring to the decadence of Greece, Italy, and the Southern States of the 
Union the points of comparison in the latter case being " the moral 
utterances of Jefferson and Madison," on the one hand, and those of 
the pro-slavery leaders of the period just prior to secession on the 
other so, when it comes to expounding redemption, he exhibits it to 
us in the action of a higher personality upon a lower : that, for exam- 
ple, of father, mother, or teacher upon the wayward character of a 
child. It is true that he adds : " No soul, and so no aggregation of 
souls, can climb up to God ; he stoops down and lifts us up to him- 
self." But this, again, is manifestly the language of devotion. How 
can science take any cognizance of such terms? Professor Huxley 
spoke not irreverently, but simply as a man of common sense, when, 
in his recent controversy with Mr. Gladstone, he observed that he 
could not match any detail of the nebular hypothesis with the script- 
ural statement that " the spirit of God moved on the face of the 
waters." To throw such declarations at the man of science, and ask 
him what he makes of them, is eminently unreasonable. They may 
and do find an echo in the religious nature ; but they do not lend 
themselves to any kind of scientific appraisement. The business of 
science, it can not be too often repeated, is not to force its way into 
men's hearts, and lay a ruthless hand upon the altar of the religious 
life. It is none of its business to apply rule or plummet, or any other 
instruments of exact determination, to the religious aspirations, or to 
the forms or formulas in which these express themselves. Its business 
is with definite, determinate facts or statements ; it builds alone upon 
these, it concerns itself alone with these. It respects the religious life, 
and would willingly draw a wide precinct around it to preserve it 
from all undue intrusion. But, on the other hand, it claims complete 
independence within its own region, and will not surrender one atom 
of determinate fact, or forego a single one of its conclusions, because, 
forsooth, some one asserts that the interests of religion are involved 
in having the fact or the conclusion so, rather than so ! Religion has 
to learn that it can neither make nor mold facts, nor arbitrarily con- 
trol logical processes. It must learn to be self-sufficing in its own 


region the region of the higher emotions and to respect science as 
it would have science respect it. Then all will be well. 

It is observable that Dr. Abbott is no more anxious to discuss the 
strict theological doctrine of redemption than he is to enter into the 
details of the third chapter of Genesis. He prefers to deal with the 
process of redemption in its most general aspects, as consisting in the 
action of a higher nature on a lower. Taken in this accommodated 
and accommodating sense it is not at all hard to believe in ; and the 
evolutionist may well congratulate himself that a term of such special 
theological import, so commonly associated with the supposed efficacy 
of bloody sacrifices, is capable of being explained by a doctor of 
divinity in so natural and human a manner. It is satisfactory, also, 
to note that the reverend doctor does not summon the modern philos- 
opher, on pain of intellectual confusion, to accept the Bible or any 
portion of it, but only such truths as are affirmed by the " universal 
consciousness." He mentions certain chapters of the Bible, but chiefly 
for the purpose of deprecating the spending of much time upon a 
discussion of their meaning. In spite, therefore, of an apparently 
aggressive tone, the learned doctor's article, when closely examined, 
may almost be regarded as a kind of Eirenicon. Possibly, like a very 
ancient scriptural character, he may have meant to say worse things 
than he actually succeeded in uttering. Science has its foes, who 
would like to hear it denounced ; but it is not always easy to com- 
mand the prophets. Many of them know too much, and are too 
sound at heart, to rail at the modern Israel. 

A few words in conclusion. The evolutionist, or, as we should pre- 
fer to say, the modern scientific thinker, is not necessarily or natu- 
rally an irreligious man. Conversing, as he tries to do, with truths of 
deep and wide significance, and seeing, as perhaps no one not engaged 
on equally wide questions can see, the littleness of all individual 
thought and effort in comparison with the vast operations of Nature 
and the limitless record of human action in general, he is not prone 
either to set his own personality up as an object of worship, or volun- 
tarily to cage himself in a narrow materialistic philosophy. What he 
sees and feels at every moment is, that the universe outruns him on 
every side, and that he can only be baffled and beaten in any attempt to 
do more than take due note of the succession of phenomena. It is a 
duty with him, however, to limit his affirmations to the exact facts he 
has observed. To go beyond them would be to him as distinctly a sin 
as to others it would be an act of piety. This is why he can not join 
in many of the devout phrases by which others ease their hearts. It 
is not that his heart does not at times require easing too, or that these 
phrases have not, considered in themselves and in their associations, 
a decided efficacy for that purpose, but simply that he does not him- 
self feel authorized to make the affirmations which the phrases either 
make or imply. The average member of society has probably little 


idea of the emotional sacrifices which the philosopher makes in order 
to preserve his intellectual integrity, and to keep inviolate for others 
truths which he believes they will one day, to their great advan- 
tage, recognize. Were he alone concerned, he might in most cases 
probably would yield to the force of surrounding opinion and social 
practice ; but a secret instinct tells him that he is the conservator of 
that which he has no right to sacrifice, or even to compromise, in the 
interest of his personal convenience or comfort. Such a man may, as 
I conceive, worship the Unknown God with as true a devotion as has 
ever been shown at the shrine of any of the named divinities of the 
human race. He may lack a liturgy and articles of belief ; but he 
does not mourn the absence of these, finding his mind all the freer to 
turn its gaze ever to the pole-star of truth, and his heart the more 
open to every good impulse and to all the best teachings of the great 
world-drama that enacts itself before his eyes. Such a man can afford 
to be misunderstood, not so much because of his confident appeal to 
the future, as because of the present sustaining power of a loyal sub- 
mission to the truth. When theologians, even such amiable ones as 
Dr. Lyman Abbott, undertake to tell him what he must incorporate 
into his system of thought, or what venerable doctrines he must bow to 
in passing, he says to himself, in the language of Socrates, " Whither 
the sea-breeze of reason carries us, thither must our course be bent." 
And so, in spite of all pulpit denunciation, and in spite of all the plead- 
ing, special and general, of those who would keep humanity fettered 
to the doctrines of the past, modern thought keeps on its way, seeing, 
believing, harmonizing, hoping, and looking to be justified some day 
of its children. 



Occupations of the People of Mexico. Agriculture. Although 
the main business of the country is agriculture, this branch of 
industry is carried on under exceptionally disadvantageous circum- 
stances. One of its greatest drawbacks is, that the whole country is 
divided up into immense haciendas, or landed estates ; small farms be- 
ing rarely known ; and out of a population of ten million or more, the 
title to the soil is said to vest in not more than six thousand persons. 
Some of these estates comprise square leagues instead of square acres 
in extent, and are said to have irrigating ditches from forty to fifty 
miles in length. Most of the land of such estates is uncultivated, and 
the water is wasted upon the remainder in the most reckless manner. 
The titles by which such properties are held are exceedingly varied, 


and probably to a considerable extent uncertain. Some came from the 
old Spanish Government, through its viceroys ; some from Mexico, 
through its governors or political chiefs ; while over a not inconsider- 
able part of all the good land of the country, the titles of the Church, 
although not recognized by the Government, are still, to a certain ex- 
tent, respected. Added to all this, there is a marked indisposition on 
the part of the large owners of real estate in Mexico to divest them- 
selves of such property ; and this for various reasons. Thus, in the 
heretofore almost permanently revolutionary condition of the country, 
the tenure of movable or personal property was subject to embarrass- 
ments from which real estate, or immovable property, was exempt. 
Under the system of taxation which has long prevailed in Mexico, 
land also is very lightly burdened. And, finally, from what is proba- 
bly an inherited tradition from Old Spain, the wealthy Mexican seems 
to be prejudiced against investing in co-operative (stock) or financial 
enterprises the railways, banks, and mines, in both Old Spain and 
Mexico, for example, being to-day mainly owned and controlled by 
English or other foreign capitalists. Under such circumstances, there 
is no influx of immigrants into Mexico with a view to agriculture, and 
settlements, such as spring up and flourish in the United States almost 
contemporaneously with the construction of the " land-grant " and 
other railroads, are unknown, and are not at present to be expected ; 
all of which clearly works to the great disadvantage of all Mexican 
railway enterprise and construction. It is also interesting to note, in 
connection with this subject, that it is the immobility and uncertainty 
of these same old Spanish or Mexican land-grants, which cover a vast 
portion of New Mexico, that constitute at present the greatest obstacle 
in the way of the growth and development of that Territory. 

Statutes offering great inducements for permanent immigration 
such as a bonus to each immigrant, the right to purchase public lands 
at moderate prices and on long terms, the right to naturalization and 
citizenship, and the like were enacted by the Mexican Congress as 
far back as 1875, but as yet do not appear to have been productive 
of any marked results. 

On the other hand, the Mexican land laws discriminate very rigor- 
ously against the acquirement of land by foreigners who do not pro- 
pose to become Mexican citizens, and seem to be especially framed to 
prevent any encroachments on the part of the United States. Thus, 
no foreigner may, without previous permission of the President of 
the Republic, acquire real estate in any of the border States, within 
twenty leagues (sixty miles) of the frontier ; but such permission has 
of late been freely given to citizens of the United States for the ac- 
quirement of ranching property on the northern frontier. The owner- 
ship of real estate by a foreigner in either country or city, within 
fifteen miles of the coast, is, however, absolutely forbidden, except 
on the condition of a special act of Congress granting it. It is only, 


furthermore, through a direct permission of the Minister of Foreign 
Affairs that a foreigner in Mexico is accorded any standing in a court 
of justice. By the Constitution of Mexico, a foreigner who purchases 
any real estate in that country, without declaring that he retains his 
nationality, becomes a citizen of Mexico ; and it is difficult to see how 
under such conditions he could properly invoke any protection from 
the country of his prior citizenship, in case he considered his rights 
in Mexico to be invaded. Again, the laws regulating mining property 
in Mexico are very peculiar. No one in Mexico, be he native or for- 
eigner, can own a mine absolutely, or in fee, no matter what he may 
pay for it. He may hold it indefinitely, so long as he works it ; but 
under an old Spanish law, promulgated as far back as 1783, and still 
recognized, if he fails " to work it for four consecutive months, with 
four operatives, regularly employed, and occupied in some interior or 
exterior work of real utility and advantage," the title is forfeited and 
reverts to the state ; and the mine may be " denounced," and shall 
belong, under the same conditions, " to the denouncer who proves its 
desertion." The denouncer, to keep the property, must, however, at 
once take possession and begin the prescribed work within a period 
of sixty days. This practice has one great advantage over the Ameri- 
can mining system ; and that is, that litigation about original titles, 
and conflicting claims to mining property are almost unknown in 

On the plateau of Mexico, where nine tenths of its present popula- 
tion live, there is undoubtedly much good land ; but the great draw- 
back to this whole region is its lack of water. During the rainy 
season, which commences in June and lasts about four months, there 
is a plentiful rainfall for Central and Southern Mexico ; but in North- 
ern Mexico the rainfall, for successive years, is not unfrequently so de- 
ficient as to occasion large losses, both in respect to stock and to crops. 
For the remainder of the year, or for some eight months, little or no 
rain falls, and the climatic characteristic is one of extreme dryness. 
During the most of the year, therefore, the whole table-land of Mexico 
is mainly dependent for its water-supply upon a comparatively few 
springs and storage-reservoirs ; and agriculture can not be generally 
carried on without resorting to some form of irrigation. One rejoin- 
der to what may be an unfavorable inference from these statements 
has been the counter-assertion that " in the immediate neighborhood 
of the large cities enough grain is raised by irrigation to keep con- 
stantly more than a year's extra supply ahead to provide against a 
possible failure of crops " ; and, further, that the storage capacity of 
the existing reservoirs of Mexico might easily be increased, and thus 
greatly extend the area of land capable of cultivation. But, admit- 
ting this, how great must be the obstacles in the way of developing 
any country where there is a liability to an almost entire failure of the 
crops from drought ; and where the small agricultural proprietor, 


who depends on each year's earnings to meet each year's needs, has 
always got to anticipate and guard against such a possibility ! There 
are vast tracts of land also in Mexico, especially in the northern part, 
where grass sufficient for moderate pasturage will grow all or nearly 
all the year, but on which the water-holes are so few, and so entirely 
disappear in the dry season, that stock can not live on them. In a 
report recently sent (January, 1885) to the State Department, by 
Warner P. Sutton, United States consul - general to Matamoros, the 
statement is made, that the annual value of the agricultural products 
of the State of South Carolina, having an area of 30,570 square miles, 
is at least two and half times as great as the whole like product of the 
six States of Northern Mexico namely, Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, 
Coahuila, Chihuahua, Lower California, and Sonora which have an 
area of 355,000 square miles, and represent about one half of the ter- 
ritory of the whole republic ; or, making allowance for the areas of 
land under comparison, the annual agricultural product of South Caro- 
lina is from twenty to twenty-five times as valuable as that of the 
whole northern half of Mexico ! 

On the " tierras calientes" or comparatively narrow belt of coast- 
lands, on both the Atlantic and Pacific sides of Mexico, there is abun- 
dance of wood and water, cheap and fertile land, and most luxuriant 
vegetation ; but the climate is such that the white races will never live 
there in the capacity of laborers. When one hears, therefore, of pos- 
sibilities of these regions in respect to coffee, sugar, tobacco, and a wide 
range of other valuable tropical products, this fact has got to be taken 
into account. They would, however, seem to be particularly adapted 
to the introduction and employment of Chinese labor ; and during the 
past year delegations from the associated Chinese Companies of San 
Francisco have, it is understood, entered into negotiations with the 
Mexican Government, with a view of promoting an extensive immi- 
gration into these portions of the national territory. 

Again, much of the best land of the plateau of Mexico is in the 
nature of valleys surrounded by mountains, or of strips or sections 
separated by deserts. Thus, for example, to get from the city of 
Mexico into the fertile valley of Toluca, a comparatively short dis- 
tance, one has to ascend nearly three thousand feet within the first 
twenty-four miles ; while between Chihuahua and Zacatecas there is 
an immense desert tract, over which the Mexican Central Railway has 
to transport in supply-tanks the water necessary for its locomotives. 
It is true that in both of these instances the natural difficulties have 
now in a great measure been remedied by railroad constructions ; but 
when it is remembered that, outside of the leading cities and towns of 
Mexico, there are hardly any wheeled vehicles, save some huge, cum- 
bersome carts with thick, solid, wooden wheels (a specimen of which, 
exhibited as a curiosity, may be seen in the National Museum at 
Washington) ; that the transportation of commodities is mainly ef- 


fected on the backs of donkeys or of men ; that the roads in Mexico, 
as a general thing, are hardly deserving of the name ; * and that, even 
with good, ordinary roads and good teams and vehicles at command, a 
ton of corn worth twenty-five dollars at a market is worth nothing at 
a distance of a hundred and twenty miles remembering these things, 
one can readily accept the statement that, in many sections of Mexico, 
no effort is made to produce anything in the way of crop products, 
except what has been found necessary to meet the simplest wants of 
the producers ; and for the reason that experience has proved to them 
that it was not possible to obtain anything in exchange for their 

The plow generally in use in Mexico is a crooked stick, with 
sometimes an iron point. American plows are beginning to be intro- 
duced to a considerable extent ; but the Mexican peasant on coming 
into possession of one generally cuts off one handle, in order to make 
it conform, as far as he can, to his ancient implement. A bundle of 
brush constitutes the harrow. " Their hoes are heavy grub-hoes, and 
grass is cut by digging it up with such a hoe." 

Nothing exhibits more strikingly the present poverty of Mexico, 
and the present inefficiency of her agriculture notwithstanding the 
natural advantages claimed for this industry, and that it is undoubt- 
edly the principal occupation and support of her people than a brief 
comparison of some of the results which have been recently reported 
for Mexico and the United States. According to a report published 
in 1883, by M. Bodo von Glaimer, an accepted Mexican authority, and 
other data, gathered and published by Senor Cubas, United States Con- 
sul-General Sutton, and the Agricultural Bureau at Washington, the 
value of all the leading agricultural products of Mexico corn, wheat, 
sugar, tobacco, beans, coffee, and the like for the year 1882 was esti- 
mated at about $175,000,000. But the present estimated value of the 
oat-crop alone of the United States is $180,000,000. Again, corn con- 
stitutes the staple food of the Mexican people, and its product for 
1882 was estimated at about 213,000,000 bushels ; which, with an as- 
sumed population of ten million, would give a product of 21^ bushels 
per capita. But for the United States for the year 1885 the product 
of corn was about thirty-three bushels per capita. 

Although much of the soil of Mexico is undoubtedly well adapted 
to the cultivation of wheat, it is as yet a crop little grown or used 
wheat-bread being eaten only by the well-to-do classes. Its product 

* One of the most noted routes in Mexico is from the capital to Acapulco, the best 
Mexican port on the Pacific, a route that was traveled, and constituted a part of the 
transit for convoys of treasure and rich tropical products between the Indies and Old 
Spain, a hundred years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth. And yet a journey over 
this route, a distance of three hundred miles, consumes ten days on horseback under the 
most favorable auspices ; and the path or trail followed has in great part so few of the 
essentials of a road that, in popular parlance, it is spoken of as " bum camino de paja- 
ros" (a good road for birds). 


for 1882 was estimated at 12,500,000 bushels, or at the rate of about 
1-j^g- bushel per capita ; while for the year 1885, with a very deficient 
crop, the wheat product of the United States was in excess of six bushels 
per capita. Mexican coffee is as good as, and probably better than, the 
coffee of Brazil, and yet Mexico in 1883-84 exported coffee to all coun- 
tries to the value of only $1,717,190, while the value of the exports of 
coffee from Brazil to the United States alone, for the year 1885, was in 
excess of 830,000,000. Much has also been said of the wonderful adap- 
tation of a great part of the territory of Mexico for the production of 
sugar, and everything that has been claimed may be conceded ; but, 
at the same time, sugar is not at present either produced or consumed 
in comparatively large quantities in Mexico, and, in common with 
coffee another natural product of the country is regarded rather as a 
luxury than as an essential article of food. Thus the sugar product of 
Mexico for the year 1877-'78, the latest year for which data are readily 
accessible, amounted to only 154,549,662 pounds. Assuming the prod- 
uct for the present year (1886) to be as great as 200,000,000 pounds, 
this would give a Mexican per capita consumption of only twenty 
pounds as compared with a similar present consumption in the United 
States of nearly fifty pounds. The further circumstance that Mexico 
at the present time imports more sugar than it exports ; and that the 
price of sugar in Mexico is from two to four times as great as the 
average for the United States coarse-grained, brownish-white, unre- 
fined sugar retailing in the city of Mexico for twelve and a half cents 
a pound (with coffee at twenty-five cents) is also conclusive on this 
point. With the present very poor outlook for the producers of cane- 
sugars in all parts of the world, owing mainly to the bounty stimulus 
offered by the governments of Europe for the production of beet-sugar; 
and the further fact that the only hope for the former is in the use of 
the most improved machinery, and the making of nothing but the best 
sugars at the point of cane production, the idea so frequently brought 
forward that labor and capital are likely to find their way soon into 
the hot, unhealthy coast-lands of Mexico, in preference to Cuba and 
South America, and that the country is to be speedily and greatly 
profited by her natural sugar resources, has little of foundation. 
And, as additional evidence on these matters, the writer would here 
mention, that a statement has come to him from a gentleman who has 
been long connected and thoroughly acquainted with the Vera Cruz 
and City of Mexico Railroad, which runs through the best sugar and 
coffee territory of the country, that not a single acre of land more 
is now under cultivation along its line than there was at the time the 
road was completed, thirteen years ago. 

Whatever, therefore, may be the natural capabilities of Mexico for 
agriculture, they are certainly for the future rather than of the present. 

Manufactures. Apart from handicrafts there is very little of 
manufacturing, in the sense of using labor-saving machinery, in Mex- 


ico ; and, in a country so destitute of water and fuel, it is difficult 
to see how there ever can be. In almost all cases where the employ- 
ment of machinery is indispensable, mule or donkey power seems to be 
the only resource ; as is the case in the majority of the mines and sil- 
ver-reducing works of the country not a pound of ore, for example, 
being crushed through the agency of any other power, in connection 
with the famous mines of Guanajuato. Many years ago an English 
company bought the famous Meal del Monte mine, near Pachuca, 
which is reported to have yielded in a single year, with rude labor, 
$4,500,000. It was assumed that two things only were requisite to 
insure even greater returns ; namely, the pumping out of the water 
which had accumulated in the abandoned shafts, and the introduction 
of improved machinery for working at lower levels. Large steam-en- 
gines and other machinery were accordingly imported from England, 
and dragged up by mule-power from Yera Cruz, at immense cost and 
labor. But the new scheme proved utterly unprofitable, and after 
some years' trial was abandoned. The expensive machinery was sold 
for about its value as old iron ; the mines reverted to a Mexican com- 
pany ; the old methods were again substantially introduced, and then 
the property once more began to pay. 

Deposits of coal of good quality are from time to time reported as 
existing, and readily accessible. But the fact that the Mexican Cen- 
tral Railroad supplies itself from the coal-fields of Colorado, nearly 
fifteen hundred miles from the city of Mexico, and that the Vera Cruz 
Railroad imports its coal from England, is in itself sufficient evidence 
that no coal from any Mexican mine has yet been made practically 
available for industrial purposes. In Central Mexico, wood commands 
at the present time from twelve to sixteen dollars per cord, and coal 
from fifteen to twenty-one dollars per ton. 

According to the best information available, the number of facto- 
ries of all kinds using power, in the republic, is about a hundred, rep- 
resenting a valuation of some $10,000,000, and employing about 13,000 
hands. Their range of manufacturing is exceedingly limited, and 
comprises little besides the coarser cottons and woolens, the coarser 
varieties of paper, a few (cloth) printing and dye works, milling (flour), 
and the manufacture of unrefined sugar. The textile factories (cotton 
and wool) are said to contain 250,000 spindles and 9,500 looms. 

No country affords such striking illustrations as Mexico of the fal- 
lacy and absurdity of the so-called "pauper-labor " argument for "pro- 
tection " ; or of the theory, which has proved so popular and effective in 
the United States, for justifying the enactment of high tariffs, that the 
rate of wages paid for labor is the factor that is mainly determinative 
of the cost of the resulting product ; and that, therefore, for a coun- 
try of average high wages, the defense of a protective tariff against a 
country of average low wages, is absolutely necessary as a condition 
for the successful prosecution by the former of its industries. 


"Wao-es, on the average, in Mexico, are from one half to two thirds 
less than what are paid in similar occupations in the United States ; 
and yet in comparison with the United States the price of almost 
all products of industry in Mexico is high. Thus, in the city of Mexi- 
co, where wages rule higher than in almost any part of the republic, 
the average daily wages in some of the principal occupations during 
the year 1885 were as follow : Laborers, porters, etc., forty to fifty 
cents ; masons, seventy-five cents to one dollar ; assistants, thirty- 
seven and a half to fifty cents ; teamsters, fifty cents ; blacksmiths, 
one dollar and fifty cents ; printers, one dollar ; saddle and harness 
makers, sixty-two cents ; tailors, seventy-five cents ; painters, eighty- 
seven and a half cents ; weavers in the cotton-mills at Tepic and San- 
tiago, four dollars per week of seventy-two hours ; spinners, three dol- 
lars ditto. In the cotton-mills in the vicinity of the city of Mexico a 
much higher average is reported. The operatives in the woolen manu- 
factories of Mexico are in receipt of higher average wages than those 
in almost any other domestic industry ; and Mexican woolen fabrics 
are comparatively cheap and of good style and quality. Underground 
miners, at the great mines of Zacatecas and Guanajuato, receive an 
average of nine dollars per week of sixty hours ; underground labor- 
ers, three dollars ditto ; agricultural laborers in the district of San 
Bias average nineteen cents per day, with an allowance of sixteen 
pounds of corn per week. On a hacienda near Regla, in Central Mex- 
ico, comprising an area some eighteen miles in length by twelve in 
its greatest breadth and including an artificial lake two miles in its 
principal dimensions, the wages paid in 1883 were six cents a day 
for boys and thirty-seven cents for the best class of adults. In other 
districts the wages of agriculturists are reported as from eight to ten 
dollars per month, with rations. 

The following are the retail prices of some of the principal articles 
of domestic consumption in Mexico : Fresh beef, twelve to eighteen 
cents per pound ; lard, twenty to twenty-five cents ; coffee, twenty- 
five cents ; sugar, unrefined, twelve to twenty cents ; table-salt, six 
cents ; potatoes (city of Mexico), twenty-five cents per dozen ; flour, 
ten to twelve cents per pound ; corn-meal, not usually in the market, 
unless imported ; candles, thirty to fifty cents ; unbleached cottons, 
ten to fifteen cents per yard ; calicoes, fifteen to twenty cents per 
yard. Utensils of tin and copper are fifty per cent dearer than in 
the United States ; while the retail prices of most articles of foreign 
hardware (and none other are used) are double, treble, and even four 
times as much as in the localities whence they are imported. " Be- 
tween the extremes, a modest and economical lady's wardrobe will 
cost, at the city of Mexico, about fifty per cent more than the same 
style in the United States. This, however, is modified by the climate, 
which requires no change of fashions to suit the seasons, as the same 
outfit is equally appropriate for every month in the year." (Str other.) 


Imported articles of food are exceedingly high at retail at the city of 
Mexico. American hams, in canvas, forty to fifty cents per pound ; 
American salmon, cans of one pound, one dollar ; mackerel, eighteen 
to twenty-five cents each ; codfish, twenty-five cents per pound ; 
cheese, fifty to seventy-five cents. The industry of Mexican pottery, 
a handicraft exclusively, employs a great many laborers, but has no 
organization every community, and almost every family, in the dis- 
tricts where the conditions for production are favorable, making its 
own wares, as iron, tin, and copper cooking utensils are almost un- 
known in the domestic life of the masses of the Mexican people. The 
Indian manufacturer packs his pottery into wicker crates, about two 
feet square and from five to six feet long, and starts to different por- 
tions of the country, on foot, with the crate. on his back. Consul 
Lambert, of San Bias, states that he has known one " to travel more 
than two hundred and fifty miles to find a market, and dispose of his 
articles at prices varying from one and a half to twelve, and, in the 
case of large pieces, as high as eighteen cents ; receiving, in the ag- 
gregate, for the sale of his cargo, from twelve to fifteen dollars." 

The manufacture of leather is also one of the great industries of 
Mexico ; but, with the exception of the sewing-machine, which has 
been largely introduced in this and other occupations, the product 
is exclusively one of handicraft. In a country where everybody rides 
who can, the saddlery business is especially important ; and by gen- 
eral acknowledgment there are no better saddles made anywhere in the 
world than in Mexico ; and yet the United States has for many years 
exported from twenty to thirty thousand dollars' worth of saddles an- 
nually to Mexico. The explanation is, that the mechanical appliances 
used in the United. States for making the " trees," and for stamping, 
cutting, sewing, and ornamental stitching, enable the American manu- 
facturers to pay an import duty of fifty-five per cent, and undersell 
the hand-product of the low price (but dear cost) Mexican artisan. 
Consul-General Sutton, of Matamoros, reports to the State Depart- 
ment, under date of July, 1885, that Mexican dealers send to the 
United States model saddle-trees and designs for trappings, and find 
it more profitable to have the major part of the work of saddle-making 
done there, than to do it all by the low-wage hand-labor of their own 

In short, this condition of affairs in Mexico, in respect to wages 
and the cost of production, is in strict accord with what has been de- 
duced within recent years from the experience of other countries ; 
namely, that the only form of labor to which the term "pauper" has 
any significant or truthful application, is labor engaged in handicrafts 
as contradistinguished from machinery production ; and that, where 
such handicraft or ignorant labor is employed in manufacturing, the 
final cost of its product, as represented by the amount of time re- 
quired, or the number of persons called for in any given department, 
VOL. xxix. 11 


must of necessity be high. Hence, wages under such circumstances 
(as exist in Mexico and elsewhere) will be very low, and the conditions 
of life very unsatisfactory and debasing. 

On the other hand, when machinery is intelligently applied for 
the conversion or elaboration of comparatively cheap crude materials 
coal, ores, metals, fibers, wood, and the like a very little manual 
labor goes a great way, and production (as in the United States) is 
necessarily large. This being sold in the great commerce of the 
world, gives large returns, and the wages represented in such produc- 
tion will be high, because the cost of the product measured in terms 
of labor is low, and the employer is thereby enabled to pay liberally ; 
and in fact is obliged to do so, in order to obtain under the new 
order of things what is really the cheapest (in the sense of the most 
efficient) labor. Or, to state this proposition more briefly, the inva- 
riable concomitant of high wages and the skillful use of machinery 
is a low cost of production and a large consumption. 

The following circumstance curiously illustrates the prevailing low 
money rate of wages in Mexico, and the obstacle which such cheap 
labor interposes to the attainment of large production : At one point 
on the Mexican Central Railroad, while journeying south, a machine, 
the motive-power of which was steam, for pumping water into tanks 
for the supply of the locomotives, was noticed, and commented upon 
for its compactness and effectiveness. On the return journey, this 
machinery was no longer in use ; but a man, working an ordinary 
pump, had been substituted. The explanation given was, that with 
hand-labor costing but little more than the (Colorado) coal consumed, 
the continued employment of an engine and an American engineer 
was not economical. 

But at no point within the observation of the writer, either on the 
Continent of North America or in Europe, do wages, or rather remu- 
neration for regular labor, reach so low a figure as at Santa Fe, within 
the Territories of the United States. At this place, one of the notable 
industrial occupations is the transport and sale of wood for use as fuel. 
The standard price for so much as can be properly loaded upon a don- 
key (or burro) is fifty cents. The money price of the wood is high : 
but, as it is brought from a distance of fifteen, twenty, thirty, or even 
more miles, each load may be fairly considered as representing the 
exclusive service of a donkey for two days going, returning, and 
waiting for a purchaser and the services or labor of an able-bodied 
man, as owner or attendant, apportioned to from three to five donkeys 
for a corresponding length of time. The gross earnings of man and 
donkey can not, therefore, well be in excess of twenty-five cents per 
day ; from which, if anything is to be deducted for the original cost 
of the wood, its collection and preparation, and for the subsistence of 
the man and beast, the net profit will hardly be appreciable. Or, in 
other words, able-bodied men, with animals, are willing to work, and 


work laboriously, at Santa Fe, in the United States, for simple subsist- 
ence ; and a subsistence, furthermore, inferior in quality and quantity 
to the rations generally given to acknowledged paupers in most Ameri- 
can poor-houses ; and yet no high-priced laborer in the United States 
has any more fear of the industrial competition of the pauper laborers 
of Santa Fe than he has of the competition of the paupers who are 
the objects of charitable support in his own immediate locality. 

The largest, best-conducted, and most profitable of the cotton-fac- 
tories of Mexico, and the largest manufacturing establishment in the 
country, is the "Hercules" mill, located near Queretaro, 152 miles 
from the capital. Taking a tramway, with comfortable cars of New 
York (Stevenson's) construction, for a distance of about three miles 
from the plaza, the visitor, on approaching, finds an establishment, 
embracing several acres, entirely surrounded by a massive, high, and 
thick wall, with gateways well adapted for defense and exclusion. On 
entering, the objects which first arrest attention are an attractive 
little park, with semi-tropical trees and shrubs ; handsome residences 
for the owner and his family, and a stone armory or guard-house 
with men in semi-miiitary costume lounging about containing a com- 
plete military equipment for thirty-seven men, horse and foot Win- 
chester rifles and two small pieces of artillery. "Without being too 
inquisitive, the visitors are given to understand that all this military 
preparation was formerly more necessary than at present ; but that 
even now it was prudent for the officers or agents of the mill to have 
an armed escort in making collections, contingent upon the sale of its 
products, from the country dealers and shopkeepers. Back of the 
guard-house were the mill-buildings proper, warehouses, stables, boiler- 
house, -etc., all well arranged, of good stone construction, scrupulously 
clean, and in apparently excellent order. 

The machinery equipment was 21,000 spindles and 700 looms ; its 
product being a coarse, unbleached cotton fabric, adapted for the 
staple clothing of the masses, and known as " manta." Both water- 
and steam-power were used. In the case of the former, a small 
stream, with a high fall, being utilized through an iron overshot-wheel, 
forty-six and a half feet in diameter one of the largest ever con- 
structed ; for the latter a fine "Corliss" engine from Providence, 
Hhode Island. The spinning-frames and a part of the looms were 
from Paterson, New Jersey. The remainder of the looms, the steam- 
boilers, and the immense water-wheel, were of English workman- 
ship. Wood, costing sixteen dollars per cord, was used for fuel ; 
and the motive-power was in charge of a Yankee engineer, who had 
been induced to leave the Brooklyn (New York) water-works, by a 
salary about double what he had received there ; but who declared 
that nothing would induce him to remain beyond the term (two years) 
of his contract, which had nearly expired. The motives prompting to 
this conclusion were suggested by observing, on visiting his quarters 


outside of the gates, that a revolver hung conveniently near the head 
of his iron bedstead, while another was suspended from the wall, in 
close proximity to the little table on which his meals were served ; and 
also bv the following remark, called out by a suggestion from one of 
the visitors, that a rug on the hard, unattractive red-tile floors would 
seem to be desirable : " If you had to examine your bed every night, 
to see that a scorpion or centiped was not concealed in its coverings, 
the less of such things you had to turn over the better." 

According to information furnished on inquiry, the hours of labor 
in this typical Mexican cotton-mill were as follows : " help " work from 
daylight until 9.30 p. m., going out a half-hour for breakfast at 9.30 
a. m., and an hour for dinner, at 2 p.m. ; Saturday night the machinery 
runs later. The spinners earn from thirty-seven and a half to fifty 
cents per day ; weavers from six to seven dollars per week. On hear- 
ing these statements, one of the visiting party, more interested in hu- 
manitarianism than in manufactures or economics, involuntarily re- 
marked, " Well, I wonder if they have got a God down in Mexico ! " 
There were present at this visit and inspection a representative of one 
of the large cotton-factories at Fall River, and one of the best recog- 
nized authorities on mechanics and machinery, from Lowell, Massachu- 
setts ; and the judgment of these experts, after taking all the facts into 
consideration, w r as, that if this Mexican cotton-factory, with all its 
advantages in the way of hours of labor and wages, were transferred 
to New England, it would, in place of realizing any profit, sink a hun- 
dred thousand dollars per annum. And yet the proprietor of this 
mill (Don Rubio) and his family are reputed to be among the richest 
people in Mexico. 

The adoption of the theory of " free trade," or " protection," as 
the basis of a national fiscal policy, does not appear to have as yet 
interested, to any extent, either the Government or the people of 
Mexico ; and it is doubtful whether, since the country achieved 
its independence from Spain, it has ever been seriously discussed or 
considered by anybody. Under the tariff act in force in 1882, there 
were one hundred and four specifications of articles which could be 
imported free of duty including vessels of all kinds, machinery, 
and most railroad equipments and cars and eleven hundred and 
twenty -nine specifications of articles subject to duties, nearly all 
of which (only thirty-two exceptions) are simple and specific. No 
other rule seems to have been recognized and followed in imposing 
duties on imports than that " the higher the duty (or tax) the greater 
will be the accruing revenue " ; and the ad valorem equivalents of many 
of the apparently simple and moderate duties levied on imports into 
Mexico are consequently so excessive that the average rate of the 
Mexican tariff is probably greater than that adopted at present by 
any other civilized country. All domestic manufacturing industries 
that could be exposed to foreign competition as, for example, the 


comparatively few cotton and paper mills, and one or two (calico) 
print-works accordingly enjoy a degree of protection that nearly or 
quite amounts to prohibition of all competitive legitimate imports ; 
though it may be doubted whether the fiscal officers who advised or 
determined such rates had any knowledge or care for any economic 
theory, but they may have been, and probably were, influenced in 
their conclusions by the representations of interested parties. But, 
be this as it may, the practical working of such a tariff, in such a 
poor, undeveloped country as Mexico, is well illustrated by a recur- 
rence to Don Rubio and his cotton-mill. The average fabric produced 
at this establishment is protected by a duty on similar imports of nine 
cents per square metre, or about eight cents per square yard, and sells 
for about fifteen cents per vara, or thirty-three inches. Domestic in- 
dustry is thereby promoted, and the family of Don Rubio amass great 

But let us look at the other side of this picture. The number of 
operatives who obtain opportunities for employment by reason of the 
existence of cotton manufacturing in Mexico is probably not more than 
six or eight thousand, certainly not in excess of ten thousand. The pop- 
ulation of Mexico, to whom cotton-cloth is the chief and essential mate- 
rial for clothing, may be estimated at ten million. Free from all tariff 
restrictions, the factories of Fall River, in Massachusetts, could sell in 
Mexico at a profit a cotton fabric as good as, or better than, that pro- 
duced and sold by the factory at Queretaro, for five cents a yard, or 
even less. A population of ten million, poor almost beyond concep- 
tion, have therefore to pay from two to three hundred per cent more 
for the staple material of their simple clothing than needs be, in order 
that some other eight or ten thousand of their fellow-citizens men 
and women may have the privilege of exhaustively working from 
fourteen to fifteen hours a day in a factory, for the small pittance of 
from thirty-five to seventy cents, and defraying the cost of their own 
subsistence. Nor is this all. Under such excessive duties as now pre- 
vail, few or no cheap coarse cotton fabrics are legitimately imported 
into Mexico, and the Government fails to get the revenue it so much 
needs. The business of smuggling is, however, greatly encouraged, 
and all along the northern frontiers of Mexico has become so well 
organized and so profitable as to successfully defy the efforts of the 
Government to prevent it. On the shelves of the stores of all the 
Mexican towns and cities, within two hundred and fifty to three hun- 
dred miles from the northern frontier, American cotton fabrics pre- 
dominate. Five hundred miles farther " southing," however, seems 
to constitute an insuperable obstacle to the smuggler, and similar 
goods of English and French manufacture almost entirely replace at 
such points the American products. The present loss to the Mexican 
Government from smuggling along its northern frontier has been re- 
cently estimated by the "Mexican Financier " at not less than $1,500,000 


per annum a matter not a little serious in the present condition of 
Mexican finances ; while all intelligent merchants along the frontier are 
of the opinion that neither the United States nor the Mexican Treasury 
officials can, by reason of this great illicit traffic, have any accurate 
knowledge of the amount of international trade between the two coun- 

But if the present Mexican tariff on the import of foreign cotton fab- 
rics were to be materially reduced, or abolished, would not, it may be 
asked, the cotton-factories of Mexico be obliged to suspend opera- 
tions ? Undoubtedly they would ; but who, save the rich Don Rubio 
and his few associate manufacturers, would thereby experience any 
detriment ? The Mexican people would continue to have cotton-cloth 
the same as now, and probably in greater abundance ; for there is no 
other so cheap and suitable material available to them for clothing. 
But as the American and European manufacturers would not make 
their cloth a gift, or part with it for nothing, the Mexican would be 
obliged to buy it ; or, what is the same thing, give some product of 
his labor in exchange for it. Consequently, the opportunity for the 
profitable employment of the Mexican people as a whole could not be 
restricted, if, in consequence of the abolition of the existing tariff on 
the import of cotton fabrics, they were relieved from an exorbitant 
and unnecessary enhancement of the cost of their clothing. 

Mines and Mining. The mining for the precious metals, and 
more especially for silver, has been, since the conquest of the country, 
and is now, one of the great industries of Mexico. That the product 
and profit of silver-mining in the past have been very great is certain ; 
that a considerable number of mines are yet worked to a profit, and 
that future mines of great value will be discovered in the future, is 
also altogether probable. The popular ideas concerning the amount 
of the precious metals that have been furnished by the Mexican mines 
since the discovery and conquest of the country by the Spaniards, 
and the present annual product of gold and silver by Mexico, are, 
doubtless, a good deal exaggerated. The coinage records since the 
establishment of mints in Mexico, in 1537, down to 1883-'84, which 
are accepted as substantially accurate, and which indicate approxi- 
mately the value of precious metals produced by the country during 
this period, are as follows : 

From 1537 to 1821 (the last year of the Spanish colonial epoch), 
gold, 868,778,411 ; silver, $2,082,260,656 ; total, $2,151,039,067. 

From 1822-'23to June 30, 1884, gold, $45,605,793 ; silver, $1,023,- 
718,366 ; total, $1,069,324,159. At the present time the annual 
product of gold and silver in the United States is far greater than 
that of Mexico. Thus, for the year 1883 the gold production of the 
United States was estimated to have been, gold, $30,000,000 ; silver, 
$46,200,000 ; total, $76,200,000. For Mexico, the estimates for the year 
1883-'84 were, gold, $500,000 ; silver, $24,000,000 ; total, $24,500,000. 


The greatest obstacle in the way of the successful prosecution and 
development of the mining industry of Mexico, as also in the case of 
manufactures, is the scarcity of fuel and water for the generation and 
application of mechanical power. The impression which an American 
visitor to one of the great Mexican silver-mines, or reducing-works, at 
first receives, is almost always that of surprise at the apparent rude- 
ness and shiftlessness of the methods of working. But a further 
acquaintance soon satisfies him that what is done is the result of long 
experience, and is the best that probably could be under all the cir- 
cumstances. Thus, for example, for the purpose of extracting the 
silver from the ore by amalgamation, the rock, ground to a fine pow- 
der and made into a paste with water, is spread out on the floor of 
a large court, and then worked up, with certain proportions of com- 
mon salt, sulphate of iron, and quicksilver into a vast mud-pie, by 
means of troops of broken-down horses or donkeys, which for two or 
three weeks in succession tramp round and round in the mass ani- 
mals and Indian drivers alike sinking leg-deep in the paste at every 
movement. When the amalgamation is completed, it is brought in 
vessels or baskets, rather than with wheelbarrows, to washing-tanks, 
where half -naked men and boys further "puddle" it until the metal 
falls to the. bottom, and the refuse runs away. The process is hard, 
and even cruel, for both man and beast, and is not expeditious ; but it 
is economical (considered in reference to the cost of other methods 
involving power), and is effective. 

The number of mining properties at present worked in Mexico by 
American companies is understood to be about forty. 

The popular idea that there are a considerable number of old Span- 
ish mines in Mexico which were worked to great profit before the revo- 
lution, and then abandoned when their original proprietors were driven 
from the country, and are now ready to return great profits to whoever 
will rediscover and reopen them, has probably very little foundation 
in fact. Sixty-five years have now elapsed since Mexico achieved her 
independence, and during all this time the Mexicans, who are good 
miners, and to whom mining has to a certain extent the attractiveness 
of lottery ventures, have, we may be sure, shrewdly prospected the 
whole country and have not concealed any of its business opportunities. 
Capital, furthermore, has not been wanting to them. For, in the early 
days of the independence of the republic, the idea that the working of 
old Spanish mines in Mexico promised great profits, amounted to al- 
most a "craze" in England; and millions on millions of British capital 
were poured into the country for such objects ; while the mining dis- 
tricts of Cornwall were said to have been half depopulated, through 
the drain on their skilled workmen to serve in the new enterprises. It 
is sufficient to say that the results were terribly disastrous. 

Silver Monometallism. Until within a very recent period, Mexico 
has furnished to the world a most curious and interesting example of 


a somewhat populous country conducting its exchanges almost ex- 
clusively by means of a monometallic, silver currency ; no other form 
of money, with the exception of a small copper coinage, being practi- 
cally used or recognized. The results were most instructive. Thus, 
if one proposed to trade, even to a retail extent, or go on a journey, 
a bag of coin had to be carried. If it were proposed to pay out a hun- 
dred dollars, the weight of the bag would be five and a half pounds ; 
if two hundred dollars, eleven pounds ; if five hundred, twenty-seven 
pounds. Where collections or payments were to be large, and the dis- 
tance to be traversed considerable, regular organizations of armed 
men, and suitably equipped animals known as " conductas" were 
permanently maintained ; and severe and bloody fights with bandits 
were of common occurrence. At the great cotton-mill at Queretaro, 
as already noted, the organization of a " conducta " men, arms, and 
horses for making collections, was as much an essential of the busi- 
ness as the looms and the spindles. " It was obviously impossible to 
carry even a moderate amount of such money with any concealment, 
or to carry it at all with any comfort ; and the unavoidable exhibition 
of it, held in laps, chinking in trunks or boxes, standing in bags, and 
poured out in streams at the banks and commercial houses, was one of 
the features of life in Mexico," and undoubtedly constituted a stand- 
ing temptation for robbery. Within a comparatively recent time, how- 
ever, a national bank and banks of foreign incorporators have been 
established in Mexico, and authorized to issue notes, on what appears 
to be very inefficient security. The Mexican National Bank is under- 
stood to be authorized to issue $60,000,000 notes upon a capital of 
$20,000,000, which notes are legal tender from individuals to the 
Government, but not from the Government to individuals, or between 
individuals. The possibilities, if not probabilities, therefore, now are, 
that a flood of depreciated paper will ultimately drive silver out of 
circulation in Mexico. 



" 1 1 iHERE exists in animals," says Malebranche, "neither mind nor 
-L soul as we commonly understand the terms. They eat without 
pleasure, they cry out without pain, they grow without knowing it, 
they desire nothing, they know nothing, and, if they behave in a man- 
ner betokening intelligence, it is because God, who made them, has, to 
preserve them, formed their bodies in such a way that they avoid me- 
chanically and without fear everything that is capable of destroying 
them." Malebranche was more categorical than Descartes on the sub- 
ject of soul in beasts. The latter had doubts on the matter. He 


would not have been far from conceding thought to the higher ani- 
mals. But then he would have had to concede it to all, even to the 
oyster and the sponge ; and what have the oyster and the sponge that 
resembles a soul ? 

We know how this question occupied the seventeenth and eight- 
eenth centuries. In the nineteenth century, Frederic Cuvier, Flou- 
rens, and others took it up, and tried to establish upon facts a distinc- 
tion between intelligence and instinct. Finally, Darwin came and 
wiped out every line of demarkation between man and animals. But, 
whatever may be the favor rapidly gained that surrounds the doc- 
trine of transformism, we must not forget, on the one hand, that it is 
not universally accepted, nor on the other hand, that it does not an- 
swer the question of the intelligence of animals. 

The great physiologist Schwann, for instance, who died in 1882, 
maintained that there was an insurmountable barrier between us and 
those whom Michelet calls our inferior brethren. To him animals 
were alembics and electric batteries ; mechanics, physics, and chemis- 
try could account for all their manifestations. Man alone contained 
an immaterial principle, the freedom of which constitutes his charac- 
teristic appanage. That is what he distinctly declared on that day 
when the European great men of science came to Liege with an ova- 
tion to the illustrious creator of the cellular theory, on the fortieth an- 
niversary of his professorship. " By virtue of the cellular theory," he 
said, " we now know that a vital force, fundamentally distinct from 
matter, exists neither in the organism as a w r hole nor in every cell. 
All the phenomena of animal and vegetable life can be explained by 
the properties of atoms, which are the forces of inert nature, or by 
other forces of the same atoms hitherto unknown. Freedom alone 
establishes a limit at which the explanation by forces of this kind must 
necessarily stop. It obliges us to admit only in man a principle that 
is incompatible with the properties of matter." 

To Schwann, as to Malebranche, the animal was an automaton. 
It is true that he did not regard it as a mechanism moved by an in- 
ternal or external spring ; it was an aggregation of atoms combined in 
a certain manner. On the other hand and in this he was at variance 
with Descartes it was not thought, but liberty which, in his eyes, con- 
stituted the distinctive attribute of man. But essentially, to him as 
to the pure Cartesians, man was an animal inhabited by a spiritual 
substance a substance distinct from matter. I learned, however, from 
conversations I had with him on the subject, that he did not deny to 
animals the faculty of feeling pleasure and pain, memory, intelligence, 
and a certain amount of reason. In this he wandered essentially from 
Cartesianism, for in it he accorded thought to matter. 

From the exclusively logical point of view, Cartesianism is im- 
pregnable. Animals do not feel or reason, but have only the appear- 
ance of doing so. From the same point of view Schwann's system is 


also impregnable. Animals feel and reason, but have not the power of 
deciding for themselves. From the point of view of feeling or common 
sense, the latter system is much more acceptable than the other. It 
may even be said that it satisfies the mind and the heart, and imposes 
no hindrance to scientific research. This has also been proved by 
Schwann's own example. But it is not less certainly irreconcilable 
with transformist theories of the descent of man ; by it man should 
have a place aj^art in Nature. 

The stories that have been recently published and held up to atten- 
tion, as illustrations of the intelligence of animals, have really no bear- 
ing unless they indicate that animal intelligence is comparable to ours, 
in the sense that a passage may take place from one to the other by 
insensible degrees. Otherwise there would be no need of the demon- 
stration ; and Schwann as well as Darwin, Malebranche as well as 
Descartes, might subscribe to it ; for we might say that, in a certain 
sense, a mechanism is intelligent. 

Now, there are some facts that bear against the assimilation of the 
two kinds of intelligence. An infant, which in the beginning seems 
less intelligent than a young puppy, very early manifests its superior- 
ity ; and one of the first things it learns is that which can not with 
any amount of attention be taught to a dog. It is the capacity of our 
race for improvement in contrast with the immobility that seems to 
attach to animal races. Need we, to illustrate this, speak of ma- 
chines and tools, writing, and the fine arts ? It is true that there are 
monkeys that can defend themselves with sticks and pebbles ; fish that 
can throw up drops of water to stun the insects they want to swallow ; 
and birds that can embellish their nests and form parterres of flowers 
which they will keep fresh. But these curious stories are not enough 
to close the discussion. Moreover, however similar these acts may ap- 
pear in a material sense, they must not always be regarded as mentally 
alike. When my dog, at my order, brings my slippers or letters, he 
does not act with the same mind as a servant. 

Indeed, the assimilation is sometimes justifiable. I had occasion in 
some articles that appeared in the " Revue Philosophique," on Mr. G. 
H. Lewes's last book (March and April, 1881), to relate a number of 
stories in which insects, mollusks, and hydras, as well as dogs, be- 
haved, under particular circumstances, as a man would. Let me re- 
peat one of them : " I was in the habit of giving bones to my poodle 
Mouston during dinner, and he would go into the yard to gnaw them. 
A\ hen the bone was too large for him, I would get up and go out 
with him, and split it before his eyes with a hatchet. One day, Mous- 
ton, after having gone out with his bone as usual, came back bringing 
it in his mouth, fixed himself in front of me and wagged his tail. I 
ordered him back, but he persisted in staying where he was. Finally, 
I thought of what he wanted and arose, while the animal indulged 
himself in leaps of satisfaction. The trouble was, that the bone was 


too large for liim. Now, when I call to mind the expression of the dog 
when he showed me the bone without getting an answer from me, I 
could not help thinking that he must at that moment have had a 
very poor opinion of my understanding." 

It is evident from this incident that Houston knew explicitly that 
the bone would be easier to manage if it was split, and that I alone 
had means of splitting it ; and he had a clear and precise idea in antici- 
pation of what he expected from me. Finally, he manifested his de- 
sire to me by the only means within his power. How much better 
could a deaf-mute do than he did ? 

But it is one thing to think by resemblances, and another thing to 
think by symbols. A story was recently published by M. Dubuc, of 
a pointer which had learned after a few years that its master went 
hunting every Sunday, while on the other days he went to business ; 
and M. Dubuc concluded that the animal had learned to count up to 

This conclusion is not legitimate ; it may even be said to be 
wrong. The dog distinguished Sunday by some features that were 
peculiar to it ; by the movements about the house, the behavior and 
Sunday dress of the servants, the dress of the master, or any one or 
more of a number of things that make Sunday different from the 
other days of the week ; but we may say without contradiction that 
it did not count seven. AYe ourselves, if we were restricted to a life 
absolutely uniform, would not be able to distinguish the seventh day 
without mnemotechnic aids, and as a rule we seldom recollect the 
day or the elate except by the assistance of intrinsic circumstances. 

My dog, which was habitually on the watch, perfectly understood 
whether I was going out to my lectures or for a stroll. For some 
time, he went with me to the university, when I sent him back. But 
he very soon took in the signs characteristic of the days and hours 
when I went to my duty the regularity, my breakfast habit, my 
dress, the books under my arm, the direction I took, and my thoughtful 
air. We all know how observing animals are, and every one who has 
a dog has remarked how readily they learn that they are to be invited 
to go with us. 

My Mouston was a great vagabond. He would go off in the morn- 
ing as soon as the door was opened, and would sometimes not return 
till evening ; but if I said to him, " Mouston, we are going to take a 
walk," he would stay around the house and watch my every motion. 

The fondness of dogs for going walking with their masters is 
worthy of remark. The three dogs I had had the freedom of the 
street, but it was a great treat to them all to go with me. Probably 
the pleasure of coming up every once in a while to smell their mas- 
ter's legs goes a great way to compensate them for the restraint of 
following a fixed road and the often-repeated annoyance of the sud- 
den interruption of interesting conversations that have hardly been 


begun. We also know how quickly animals acquire the idea of the 
time of day. Sparrows know when it is time for the bread to be 
thrown out for them, and collect around the spot at that hour. Lace- 
pede tells of a toad which used to come out of its hole at the time 
it was accustomed to be fed. I had a lizard that would leave its nest 
and climb up my sleeve at dinner-time. Persons of my age, in Liege, 
used to be acquainted with a vagabond dog that regularly at the same 
hour made the round of the cafes for the bones or the lumps of sugar 
which he was sure to receive from his friends there ; and would as 
regularly every evening go to his sleeping-place under a particular 
gateway. This animal evidently perceived the time of day by certain 
signs that had been taught him by observation ; and M. Dubuc's dog 
knew when it was Sunday, or hunting-day, by the same means. And 
if, on some Saturday, the house had been arranged and the household 
had managed to behave in the manner usual to Sunday, the dog too 
would have been found all prepared for his anticipated hunting excur- 
sion, just as if it had not been one day short of his accustomed seven. 

This faculty of attentive observation of dogs may be stretched so 
far as to deceive an experimenter who is a little prepossessed on the 

In his paper before the British Association at Aberdeen, Sir John 
Lubbock related how Mr. Huggins, having arranged cards bearing the 
ten ciphers, gave his dog a problem, such as to give the square root 
of nine, or of sixteen, or the sum of two numbers. He would then 
touch each card in succession, and the dog would make a sound to 
inform his master when he came to the right one. The dog was 
always right. The secret of the experiment was that Mr. Huggins un- 
consciously informed the dog by his attitude when he came to the 
card that gave the answer. Sir John Lubbock tried to train his dog 
not to take a piece of bread till he had counted seven ; but when 
he used a metronome the dog showed that he was lost. I made 
analogous and systematic experiments with my Mouston. They ex- 
tended to the number four, and I aimed to make the sign of the num- 
ber more and more indistinct, on each repetition of the experiment. 
As soon as it was quite effaced, the dog lost his knowledge of it, and 
his perplexed and inquiring look was amusing. 

Sir John Lubbock mentions that Lichtenberg pretended to have a 
nightingale that could count three. Every day he gave it three meal- 
maggots, one at a time, and the bird never came back after it had got 
the third. This observation is very interesting, but we ought to know 
whether the nightingale did not perceive by some sign that the meal 
was over. I have no doubt that, if, in the experiments which I have 
made on siskins and gold-finches, I had had only three grains of hemp- 
seed in my mouth, they would not have returned after having taken 
the third seed, or at least would have been likely not to return ; but in 
fact I had many grains, and I frightened them away when they had 


got three. My experiments were not brought to a conclusion, but, if 
they had been, it would not have been right to assume too readily that 
the birds knew how to count. We should have to inquire whether I 
had not involuntarily made some sign manifesting my intention. The 
remarkable experiments of Mr. Cumberland have revealed to us a 
whole category of motions of this kind which had never been taken 
account of before. Who, previous to him, would have suspected that 
the hand trembles in a different way when we think of seven and 
when we think of three ? 

The solution is not advanced, then, when we tell of the cases, curi- 
ous and interesting as they may be, in which animals seem to behave 
like man ; or, to speak more exactly, these cases are proof only with 
respect to persons who are inclined to attribute instincts alone to the 
animal, and deny it reflection and calculation. As the philosophers 
are still at this point, it may be well to try to undeceive them. Muta- 
tis mutandis, the spider chooses the place for its web, and the bird for 
its nest, as the colonist selects the location of his farm-house, or of the 
pen for his goat or pig. I will agree that we may regard the laying 
of the eggs, the making and shaping of the nest, and the selection of 
materials as instinctive acts ; but the selection of the place is neces- 
sarily of a deliberate and intelligent character. 

If there is a difference between animal and human intelligence, it 
depends upon special causes, and these are what we are trying to dis- 
entangle. I have already remarked that man has the faculty of think- 
ing by symbols, while the animal appears not to have it. What is a 
symbol ? It is not easy to define the term. Let us say provisionally 
that it is a conventional mental sign, representing a clear abstraction. 
The definition is neither very good nor very clear, but it will do, for 
want of a better one. Before Thales and Pythagoras, thinkers had 
distinguished between the common idea and the concept. The com- 
mon idea is formed within us, we may say, almost physiologically. 
Take, for example, the idea of horse. When I have seen twenty 
horses, I have seen for twenty times the qualities which they all have 
in common, while I have seen for a less number of times, or only once, 
their respective individual qualities ; so that the common image en- 
graves itself in the brain or in the sensorium, if that term is preferred, 
in deeper and deeper lines and stands out strongly at the base of the 
particular and fugitive images. 

The concept partakes of the common idea, and it might perhaps be 
maintained that it is formed within us in the same manner. But the 
degree of abstraction which it necessitates is infinitely more consider- 
able. Let it be, for example, the number four. We agree, it is true, 
that the idea of, say, any group of four fingers of the hand is a kind 
of common idea ; but it is a good way from this idea, from this kind 
of group, to that of four distant and different objects, like the four 
limbs, the four largest cities in the world, the first four Roman em- 


perors, or the four largest fruits. But this is not all. The number 
four is still easy to transform into images, but that is no longer the 
case when we come to higher numbers, such as seven, and, with still 
more reason, 20, 100, 1,000, etc. Yet the large numbers are not more 
difficult for us to conceive than the small ones. This is because we 
represent them by conventional signs, or the figures. 

We must not, however, forget that some savage peoples can not 
count beyond four or five. Sir John Lubbock tells in his paper an 
anecdote of Mr. Galton, who, on one occasion, made a comparison of 
the arithmetical comprehension of a Damara savage of South Africa 
and a little dog. According to Mr. Galton, the comparison was not 
to the advantage of the man. 

Let us now examine Sir John Lubbock's experiments. He wrote on 
his cards such words as go, bone, water, food, etc., in phonetic orthog- 
raphy, so as not to trouble his dog's head with the difficulties of English 
spelling ; also words without significance to the animal, such as sim- 
ple, nothing, ball, etc. ; and he had cards with nothing written on 

Van the dog soon learned to distinguish the blank cards from 
the written ones ; then he learned to attach an idea to some of the 
latter ; and finally was able to fetch to his master the card that cor- 
responded with his wish. To get a single meal he had to fetch some 
eighteen or twenty of these cards, and he made no mistakes. 

Sir John Lubbock concluded from this success that Yan had learned 
to read. In one sense, this conclusion is absolutely false, but that is 
not the sense in which Sir John regarded the matter. In another 
sense it was true, and this is the point on which we need light. 

There was never a dog whose master has not said and thought a 
thousand times that he only lacked speech. In fact, the dog seems to 
comprehend speech, and speaks in his expression. His eyes behind 
which, according to Madame de Stael's fine expression, he seems to 
conceal a human soul interrogate, supplicate, and answer ; his ears 
are erected, or lop over ; his tail wags, and his whole body assumes 
marked attitudes, not to be misinterpreted, of desire, joy, attention, 
anger, repentance, fear, shame, and submission. Could he better ex- 
press all of his feelings if he spoke ? Should we understand him any 
better if he should say to us when he had been guilty of some misdeed, 
" I deserve to be punished, but don't, I pray you, be too hard on me," 
or if, after he had been corrected, he should politely thank us for our 
moderation ? We perceive at once the distance between his language 
and ours. One is natural, the other conventional. 

Does he understand our conventional language ? He does, and he 
does not, but in the more exact sense he certainly does not. He 
understands us when we give him our usual orders : " Down ! " 
" Come here ! "." Go back ! " " Give me your paw ! " " Now, the other 
one ! " " Seek it ! " " Bring it here ! " " Get out ! " But we forget that 


we accompany our interjections with corresponding gestures, and that 
the interjection itself is only one gesture more. We forget how we 
have trained him, how we have worked upon his instinct to make him 
run for the stick we have thrown, and have taught him to bring it 
back in his jaws, by leading him, and showing him how, and petting 
him when he performs the trick aright. You accompany your orders 
with certain words as if you were speaking to a child, and gave them 
a precise signification ; but the dog does not attach this signification 
to the word only ; to him the word, or the vowel in the word, is only 
a sign that concurs with all the others in helping to make him under- 
stand what we want of him. 

If, while sitting at my table, I say to my son, "Charles, will you 
be so good as to bring me my slippers ? " he will understand me. If 
I say the same thing to my dog, in the same tone and without moving, 
he will not understand me. I shall have to express myself in a par- 
ticular manner and a particular tone of voice. He will understand, 
" Houston, bring the slippers ! " or " Houston, slippers ! " or " Houston, 
bring ! " But he will not understand the cool, calm request that is 
sufficient direction to my boy. The word slippers does not call up 
in him the idea of my slippers, but that of a complex action which he 
is to perform, consisting of a combination of successive movements 
winding up with a caress. Provided I make the accustomed gesture, 
he will obey, though I use the wrong word ; and he will not obey, 
though I use the right word, if I speak in an indifferent tone as if to 
some one behind the scenes. 

It frequently occurs to us to think in this way by sensible images, 
although we do not remark it. When in the morning I hear the ser- 
vants go down, make the fire, and arrange the table, hear the rattling 
of the dishes, I do not think in words that they are getting breakfast, 
and are preparing the coffee, and putting on the bread, and the butter, 
and the sugar ; but I see these preparations in images ; I behold the 
coffee-pot, the milk-pitcher, the sugar-bowl and sugar, and the slices 
of bread ; and I see in my mind's eye the housemaid in her white 
apron going back and forth, opening the cupboards, and arranging the 
table-service. When, after this, she knocks at my door, and calls out, 
"Breakfast is ready, sir," it is very possible that these words will 
not awaken in my mind the idea of breakfast, but that of time to get 
up, to wash, dress, and go to business. I attach to the words, with 
their strict sense, a more remote sense which is associated with them. 
This is the way dogs and animals generally think ; and this is the 
meaning our language has to them. They do not analyze, but compre- 
hend in block. This is the way the deaf-mute comprehends our signs. 

It surely is not by analysis that the child learns to speak ; he 
understands our phrases as a whole, and it is not till after some time 
that he comes to see in them separate words ; but, finally, he decom- 
poses the phrases. Now, if the child can do this, why can not the ani- 


mal do it too ? Because the animal does not, and the child does speak. 
The child speaks whenever it gives utterance to its desire or feeling. 
The dog does not speak, when, knowing that he deserves correction, 
he comes up, timidly and abjectly, to cringe at the feet of his master. 
It is voluntarily, that is, after having found out the how and the why, 
that the child has associated certain movements of the larynx with 
certain ideas. But you can not teach a dog to come up for correction 
gamboling and wagging his tail. 

The deaf-mute comprehends and speaks to himself in reading 
writing. He speaks to you when he writes to you, because the volun- 
tary and trained movement of his eyes or fingers has put on for him a 
precise signification. The parrot would be speaking if he said, " Let 
us have breakfast " whenever he wanted to eat ; but he does not speak 
when he amuses himself by hailing every visitor with these words. 

To return to Sir John Lubbock's dog, he speaks when he goes 
deliberately to look for the card which corresponds with his desire ; 
we might perhaps say that he reads, for he distinguishes it among the 
others. Only, the sign might be a triangle or a square, a round figure 
or a dart ; the result would be the same, and would have no bearing. 
Sir John's idea of phonetic writing has an air of whimsicality ; and I 
am inclined to believe it must have been sportive, and that the secret 
of the matter lay in the simplification of the figure of which the dog 
had to grasp the meaning. 

The question now arises whether we can hope to go much further 
with the animal. It is one of the most important questions in the 
discussion. After all, if the transformist doctrine is true, and there 
was an ancestor of man that did not know how to speak, and man has 
had to learn to speak, why may not the dog do the same ? Professor 
P. J. Van Beneden, of the University of Louvain, had, and may still 
have, a dog which could accompany with his voice a tolerably compli- 
cated air played on the piano. My dog Marquis could sing in unison 
an air of " La Favorita " when a contralto friend gave him the key- 
note. Could we not get him to give some signification to his vowels ? 
Possibly, but it would be a very hard task, for these reasons : 

We speak and we write and read with the eyes. The blind man 
reads with his fingers and writes ; the deaf-mute reads with his eyes, 
and he writes and even speaks without hearing. Language, under 
whatever form it is manifested, consists essentially of a series of vol- 
untary and conscious movements, at least in the beginning (I mean 
reading with the eyes), to which we attach a certain meaning. These 
movements are of the most various and complicated character. The 
organs which produce them are either the vocal apparatus, exceed- 
ingly mobile and susceptible of assuming a great variety of figures, 
which includes the larynx, glottis, palate, cheeks, tongue, teeth, lips, 
and nose, or the fingers placed at the end of the arms, capable of vari- 
ous movements, or the eyes. The dog has neither our larynx nor 


hands ; there remain to him only the eyes. He can not, then, learn to 
speak or to write. Could we teach him to read ; and to what extent ? 
The question comes back in a manner to this : Could we teach an arm- 
less mute, not deaf, to read? I think it would be a more formidable 
task than was that of teaching Laura Bridgman. 

Under the old way it was very hard to teach children to read, even 
with the help of hearing, the sight, and the voice. We showed them 
the letter A, pronounced it, and made them repeat it ; then we passed 
to the letter E, and so on. At the end of a year the most intelligent, at 
the end of two years less bright, ones were able to attach a determined 
sound to certain shapes, that is, when we bring it down to the final 
analysis, to certain conscious motions of the eyes. After that we 
taught them writing. 

Not a great while ago a pedagogue was struck with an inspiration 
of genius. It occurred to him to teach reading and writing together. 
At first sight it seemed absurd to think of simplifying reading by 
adding writing to it. But what was the outcome of his plan ? Why, 
that now, children, in the course of three months, and with much 
less difficulty and without help from the application of the ruler to 
their fingers, learn to read and write with much greater facility and 
correctness than they formerly could in three years. 

This comes from the fact that the motions of the hand are associated 
with those of the eyes, and the form of the letters is thus engraved 
upon the memory by means of two different instruments, and therefore 
much more quickly, one assisting the other ; and because the other 
associations of prolonged sound and articulate sound with that form 
have become surer and more rapid. 

Would it be possible, by showing him the letter A, to make a mute, 
not deaf but armless, understand that the sign corresponds with a 
sound? Evidently the experiment would not succeed. We might 
with patience teach him to kneel, to get up, to walk, or to make cer- 
tain gestures as we show him certain figures. We could do this with 
the mute more easily than with the dog, because we could exemplify 
the movement to him, and because also, imperfect as he is, he is a 
man and Hot a brute. He would also attach the same meaning to the 
pronounced sound, and would thus learn that the written sign A 
answers exactly to the sound A, as he would obey orders given by the 
voice, and we would be able to say that he understood language. He 
might also, if we put the alphabet at his command, manifest his wishes 
by indicating the sign corresponding with them, and we might be able 
to say that he had a language. Possibly we might be able to go 
further still, and train him to the point of interpreting the design ; but 
I do not hazard much in saying that his education would still leave 
an enormous amount to be desired. It is very hard to make a great 
scholar even out of a deaf-mute who has arms and has learned to speak, 
and Sandersons are exceedingly rare. 

VOL. XXIX. 12 


But would the dog ever accomplish much more than to attach a 
kind of concrete significance to the figures of the letters ; than to asso- 
ciate his necessities or his natural or artificial wants with them ? It is 
very doubtful, and that is what is indicated by Sir John Lubbock's 
experiments : 

Sir John painted six cards, two blue, two red, and two yellow. 
Three of these were put before the dog, who was to bring his master 
the card of the color that was shown him. Although he was rewarded 
every time he succeeded, he never fairly understood what was wanted 
of him. This was because the action of bringing the card of the right 
color did not appeal directly enough to his senses. Sir John obtained 
no better result with six cards marked I, II, III, etc. Van never ex- 
actly grasped the conformity of the figures. 

What was it prevented my dog, upon whom I tried experiments in 
numbers, grasping the difference between three and four pieces of meat? 
He failed because he had to abstract the ideas of the numbers 3 and 4 
from the variety of the figures which were presented to him. I have 
no doubt he might in time have learned to distinguish the triangles 
from the squares which I formed on the plate with the three and the 
four pieces of meat. The thing that baffled the beast we must not 
forget that the dog carries the faculty of observation to a considerable 
length was the incessantly variable diversity of the figures. Under 
these circumstances, the problem was made too complicated for his 
head, those means only being given which I had prepared for enter- 
ing into communication with his intelligence. 

If any of the readers of these pages is tempted to teach a dog arith- 
metic, he would do well, I think, to begin by making him distinguish 
one from two, permitting him to touch only a single piece at the word 
one, and two pieces at the word two. Then he could pass on to three, 
and, if he went so far, to four. After that, he might essay addi- 
tion : one and two, one and three, and two and three. The experi- 
ment would be very interesting and instructive, whatever the result 
might be. For, as Sir John Lubbock says, we ought not to aim for 
any one result rather than another, but for the truth. 

Is the dog, after all, a suitable subject to experiment upon, in re- 
gard to the distance that separates man from animals? Would it not 
be better to select the monkey, intractable as he is, but formed like us, 
and not only able to imitate our gestures but fond of doing so ? We 
might by this means attempt a verification of M. Noire's seductive hy- 
pothesis respecting the origin of language : that it is the product of 
a social state already considerably advanced, and that the sounds, being 
at first simply utterances accompanying the movements of the whole, 
finally become the signs of those movements. But suppose, for a mo- 
ment, that the dog acquires some notion of number, what are we to 
conclude from it ? Is the advance of such a kind that it can be com- 
municated to the whole species or to a particular breed ? That would 


be at least doubtful. There have been very serious and learned con- 
troversies respecting the possibility of the transmission by generation 
of acquired advantages. Weissmann decides the question in the nega- 
tive. Only aptitudes are transmitted by descent. The discussion ap- 
pears to be, to some extent, an affair of words. Some say pointer- 
dogs have been formed by hunters, who taught particular individuals 
not to chase after game, but only to signalize its presence, and that 
the knowledge of the fathers passed to their posterity. Others reply 
that this is not the case ; even in the times of the corporations or trade- 
guilds the sons of shoemakers were not born shoemakers. Special 
aptitudes, manifested by particular individuals, have been turned to the 
best advantage ; they have been cultivated, and thus breeds have been 
created by selection. I say that this is a question of words, because 
in any case the re-enforcement of the aptitude is something acquired, 
and this acquisition, it is admitted, passes to descendants. 

Let us suppose, then, that we have created a race of calculating 
dogs. We might, by a bold but legitimate generalization, infer from 
that that all animals would be susceptible of acquiring abstract notions 
or of thinking by symbols. But the dog would have had an educator. 
Must man, then, also have had his educator? We see, thus, how this 
question would take shape, and it certainly would be no less grave or 
less perplexing than the alternative. 

Again, let us suppose that the attempts utterly fail. We might, 
indeed, contend that the check was only a temporary one. But let us 
waive the evasion, and reason as though the dog were radically incapa- 
ble of representing his thoughts by symbols. Would not absolute 
transformism, that is, the applicability of transformism to man, receive 
a mortal blow ? I do not believe it. The only really legitimate con- 
clusion would be, that not all species are indefinitely perfectible, but 
that only a few species, perhaps only one, have really entered upon the 
road to infinite progress, while the others have gone into a kind of 
blind alley. It is in the same way that the main stem of a tree may 
theoretically grow up indefinitely toward the sky, while the develop- 
ment of the lateral branches is necessarily limited by the power of the 
wood to resist rupture. 

We thus see that this problem is one of an exceedingly interesting 
and tempting character. Although Malebranche has no partisans now, 
those who agree to some extent with Schwann form legions, and in 
their eyes transformism has only the value of a general doctrine. It 
is the question of the origin of man and his place in the world, which 
is raised by Sir John Lubbock's cards, and on which, with the co-op- 
eration of his dog Van, he has contributed to throw a little light. 
Anthropology also can only follow his experiments, the abortive ones 
as well as the successful ones, with legitimate curiosity, and return its 
most earnest thanks for them. Translated for the Popular Science 
Monthly from the Mevue Scientiflque. 





THE story is that King Alfred had no better way to tell the time 
than by burning twelve candles, each of which lasted two hours ; 
and, when all the twelve were gone, another day had passed. Long 
before the time of Alfred, and long before the time of Christ, the 
shadow of the sun told the hour of the day, by means of a sun-dial. 
The old Chaldeans so placed a hollow hemisphere, with a bead in the 
center, that the shadow of the bead on the inner surface told the 
hour of the dav. Other kinds of dials were afterward made with a 
tablet of wood or straight piece of metal. On the tablets were marked 
the different hours. When the shadow came to the mark JN. y it was 
nine o'clock in the morning. The dial was sometimes placed near the 
ground, or in towers or buildings. You see, in the picture, two sun- 

dials that are on the Gray and Black Nunnery in Ottawa, the capital 
of Canada. The old clock on the eastern end of Faneuil Hall in Bos- 
ton was formerly a dial of this kind ; and on some of the old church- 
towers in England you may see them to-day. Aside from the kinds 
mentioned, the dials now in existence are intended more for ornament 


than for use. In the days when dials were used, each one contained 
a motto of some kind, like these : " Time flies like the shadow " ; or, 
"I tell no hours but those that are happy." 

But the dial could be used only in the daytime ; and, even then, 
it was worthless when the sun was covered with clouds. In order to 
measure the hours of the night as well as the hours of the day, the 
Greeks and Romans used the clepsydra, which means, " The water 
steals away." A large jar was filled with water, and a hole was made 
in the bottom through which the water could run. The glass, in those 
days, was not transparent. No one could see from the outside how 
much water had escaped. So there were made, on the inside, certain 
marks that told the hours as the water ran out ; or else a stick with 
notches in the edge was dipped into the water, and the depth of what 
was left showed the hour. Sometimes the water dropped into another 
jar in which a block of wood was floating, the block rising as the hours 
went on. Once in a while, some very rich man had a clepsydra that 
sounded a musical note at every hour. 

Another way of measuring time among the ancients was by the 
sand, or hour-glass. This was made of pear-shaped bits of hollow 
glass with a very small opening between them. It held just sand 
enough to run from the upper into the lower pear in the space of one 
hour. The glass was then turned the other side up and the sand ran 
back, also taking an hour. You have seen glasses of this kind where 
the sand runs out in three minutes. They are used for boiling eggs. 
King Charlemagne, a thousand years ago, had a glass of this kind that 
ran for twelve hours without turning. It was marked on the outside 
with red lines to show the escape of the sand. Hour-glasses were so 
common after this that they were carried in the pocket like watches. 
Every minister had one to mark the length of his sermon, which was 
a very serious matter in England during the protectorate of Cromwell, 
very few sermons being as short as one hour. It is said of one min- 
ister that when the sand ran out of his glass he turned it over, saying, 
" I know that you are all good fellows, so let's have another glass." 
Once, when the preacher had turned his glass a second time, showing 
that he had already preached two hours, the sexton asked him to lock 
the door and put the key on the nail when he was through, because 
the few people that were left wanted to go home to dinner. We also 
read that, in the early history of New York, the soldiers who defended 
the city used hour-glasses to tell when they should go on guard. 

We have seen that the dial could be used neither at night nor in 
cloudy weather. We have also noticed that the hour-glass had to be 
watched so that it might be turned at the very moment the sand ran 
out. And we have also seen how inconvenient it was to measure time 
by the running of water. None of these ways was accurate enough, 
for minutes and even hours would be lost. A better means of measur- 
ing time was sought for ; and this was found by means of a clepsydra, 


in which the water drove a wheel that marked the hours by a hand. 
The old Romans used this water-clock ; but, when their empire was 
destroyed, all Western Europe forgot the existence of such a thing. 
In the year 807 a. p.. the Caliph of Bagdad, Haroun-al-Raschid, sent 
to Charlemagne a water-clock of this kind. Soon after we learn 
that, instead of the running water, a weight was used for turning the 
wheel. But whether the clock was run bv water or bv a weight it 
was always a hard matter to have the hours of the same length. The 
escapement, which we shall speak of presently, made one hour more 
nearlv the length of everv other hour. The machine for telling the 
hours was, for manv Tears, called the horologe, or "hour-teller." 
The word " clock " was applied only to the bell that struck the hours. 
It sounds very much like the Saxon, French, and German words that 
mean ''bell." About nine hundred Years ago horologes were brought 
into England bv the Catholic clergv. Very large horologes were 
built into the towers at Canterbury Cathedral, in 1292 ; at "Westmin- 
ster, in 1290 ; at Exeter Cathedral, in 1317 the striking part of which 
is still in use ; at the cathedrals of Wells and Peterborough ; and at 
St. Albans Abbev in 1326. A smaller horologe was made for Charles 
V of France in 1370, by a German named Vick. 

Horologes, or clocks, would have remained in this imperfect state 
until to-day if it had not been for the invention of the pendulum, 
which means "something that swing-.'* You all remember the story 
of Galileo, who, when a boy, watched the chandelier as it swung to 
and fro in the cathedral at Florence. The voung bov noticed that it 
moved with great regularitv. If it had moved all the wav around the 
point where it was held, or suspended, it would have made a circle ; 
but as it moved only a small part of the way, it moved in what is 
called the u arc " of a circle. Galileo saw that it took just as long a 
time to go from one end of the arc to the other as it did to return. 
This is called isochronism, or "equal times." In 1620, several years 
after Galileo's discovery, Huygens first used the pendulum to regu- 
late the movement of a clock. You may see how this is done by look- 
ing at Fig. 1. We have here the simplest form of clock-work, or 
14 movement," as it is called. A wheel, with teeth on the edge, turns 
on a pin, i, by the force of the weight h, the string being wound 
about what is called a " barrel n at i. If there is no way of stopping 
the wheel, it will run down very fast and very unevenly. Here is just 
where the pendulum becomes useful. The pendulum is a long wire, 
a c, the part c being enlarged into what is called a "bob." The pen- 
dulum swings on the point a. It has an arm, d g, fastened to it and 
swinging with it. The points of this arm are called the " pallets." 
When the pendulum is in the position marked by the black line you 
will see that the wheel is stopped by the pallet d. But, when the 
pendulum swings to the place marked by the dotted line, the pallet d 
moves out to e. This lets the wheel move a little ; but, before it 



moves a notch, the pallet g has moved to /and catches the wheel be- 
low. When the pendulum swings from b back to c,/is moved to g, 
and the pallet d stops the wheel from going any farther. So that, 
while the pendulum has gone from c to b and back again, only one 
tooth of the wheel has es- 
caped instead of two. The 
arm of the pendulum which 
acts upon the teeth of the 
wheel and the wheel itself 
are called the " escapement," 
because they let only a little 
of the power in the weight 
escape at a time just as the 
hour-glass allowed but a little 
of the sand to escape at once, 
and as the clepsydra allowed 
only a little of the water to 
run out at a time. 

The earliest form of an 
escapement was that of Vick. 
It was a small wheel that was 
turned back and forth by a 
twisted string. Afterward it 
was turned by a spiral spring, 
the wheel beinor alwavs hori- 
zontal, or running at risrht an- 
gles to the other wheels, that 

were vertical. A new " scape- wheel," as it is called, was invented by Dr. 
Hooke, which moved vertically, or in the same plane with the other 
wheels. This is the wheel that is shown in Fig. 1. You will see by 
the figure that, when the bob is at b, and the tooth of the wheel comes 
on the pallet/, it will throw /over to g and help the bob to move from 
b to c. This is called the "recoil" escapement, because the force of 
the wheel gives such a sudden jerk to the pendulum. The cheaper 
clocks frequently have the recoil escapement. Very much of this 
jerking motion is saved by the " dead-beat " escapement, invented by 
Graham, an Englishman. It is so called because the tooth of the 
wheel falls dead upon the pallet and stays there until the pendulum 
starts back and releases it. The teeth of the dead-beat scape-wheel 
are of a different shape from those shown in Figs. 1 and 2. The 
" gravity " escapement is so called because another weight beside the 
principal weight gives an impulse, or motion, to the pallet. There 
are many other kinds of escapements, that are too difficult to be ex- 
plained here. I have described only the simpler kinds. 

In Fig. 1 the pendulum is made very much shorter than it should 
be, so that it will not take up the whole of the page. At the earth's 



equator it should be about thirty-nine inches long, to " vibrate," or go 
from c to b in one second. At the latitude of Washington, where the 
force of gravity is greater, the length is thirty-nine and one tenth inches. 
At London, which is still farther north, the length is thirty-nine and 
one seventh inches. A pendulum of the right length in London would 
lose two and one quarter minutes a day at the equator. The pendulum 
that vibrates from e to b in two seconds must be four times the length 
of a one-second pendulum. The pendulum of the great clock at West- 
minster moves once in two seconds. It is nearly fifteen feet long, and 
it weighs seven hundred pounds the heaviest in the world. The 
heavier and longer the pendulum, the more regularly will the clock 
move. But pendulums may be too long and too heavy. Almost all of 
the clocks that were made before the year 1800 had pendulums about 

thirty-nine inches long, and 
they stood with their cases 
over five feet high usually 
in the corner of the room. 
They were so clumsy that 
only the machinery was ped- 
dled about from place to 
place the nearest cabinet- 
maker being called upon to 
make the case. By-and-by 
it was found that, if, in Fig. 
1, the pendulum would go 
from c to b in one second, it 
would go from c to b, back 
again to c or twice as fast 
if it were one quarter as 
long. After that, clocks were 
made short enough to stand 
on a shelf. 

It had also been found 
that the bob of the pendu- 
lum, when moving in the arc 
of a circle, was not reliable ; 
but that all the trouble was 
avoided if it moved in the 
arc of a cycloid (or " like a 
/ circle"). This arrangement 
is shown in Fig. 2. The pen- 
dulum hano-s from a fixed 
point, a, where it is fastened 
securely. The upper end of 
the wire is beaten into a very thin spring. When the bob b moves back 
and forth, it does not move in the arc of the circle c d, but on the dotted 

Fig. 2. 


line ef. Great care is taken in preparing the spring at a, so that the 
bob will have no other motion than that from e tof. Should it move 
sidewise, or twist about, the clock will be spoiled. The bob was for- 
merly flat, like a small plate, or round, like a ball. It was then a diffi- 
cult matter to run the pendulum-wire through the exact center, and 
therefore the best bobs are now made in the form of a cylinder. A 
nut at the end of the wire keeps the bob from slipping off. If the nut 
is turned to the right, the pendulum is shortened, and the clock goes 
faster. If it is turned to the left, the clock goes slower. Sometimes 
it is necessary to regulate the pendulum without stopping it. This is 
done by placing small weights on the parts of it that project. In 
order to keep them of the same length, both in summer and in winter, 
pendulums were often made of wood ; but it has been found that if 
the bob is made of bars of iron and zinc, or brass and steel, in the 
form of a gridiron, the different expansions of the two metals keep the 
pendulum at the right length. The pendulum-rod sometimes ends in 
a cup of mercury at the bob. When the heat expands the rod, the 
mercury is forced upward in the cup and nearer the fixed end of the 
pendulum. The object of both the gridiron pendulum and the mercu- 
rial is to bring the " center of oscillation " as near as possible to the 
"center of gravity." Another kind of a pendulum is called the 
"rotary," because the bob moves in a circle instead of going from 
side to side, but this is not thought to be at all reliable. 

From what has been said already, you will see that the weight h 
(Fig. 1) would soon run away with the scape- wheel unless the pallets 
defg dodged in and out among the teeth and stopped it from going 
so fast. The pendulum, too, instead of moving back and forth be- 
tween b and c, would stop half-way between them in a vertical or up- 
and-down line, like the plummets that the bricklayers use. A clock 
with simply the scape-wheel and the pendulum will soon run down ; 
you must therefore have more wheels and a heavier weight to move 
them, or else your wheels will not move evenly enough to carry the 
minute- and hour-hands over the " face " that is outside. In Fig. 3 
you will see that we have added other wheels ; but you will recognize 
the scape-wheel in c, and the weight hanging to the wheel a. As it 
descends, the weight pulls the wheel a in the direction of the arrow. 
The wheel A turns with the wheel a, and it has seventy-eight "teeth," 
as the cogs are called. At b is a small wheel called a " pinion," with 
six "leaves," as the cogs are called. The large wheel, B, has also 
seventy-eight teeth ; and the pinion c has also six leaves. While A 
is turning round once, B and b turn thirteen times, because b has one 
thirteenth as many teeth as A. In the same way C and c turn thirteen 
times as fast as B and b. I have a clock before me in which the wheel 
A turns once in one hundred and thirty minutes, or two hours and ten 
minutes. The wheel B turns in ten minutes, and the wheel C in ten 
thirteenths of a minute. You will see that the scape- wheel C does 



not always take exactly a minute to go round. This scape-wheel has 
forty-two teeth, which is more than the usual number. If there were 
sixty teeth, and the pendulum marked one second at each swinging, 
the scape-wheel would turn once every minute. But this is not neces- 
sary ; besides, the scape-wheel must be small enough for the pallets 
to take in about nine teeth between them, and yet be able to swing 
clear of them altogether. 

The series of wheels in Fig. 3 is called the " train." You can not 
see the train in the clock so plainly as it is drawn in the picture, be- 

Fig. 3. 

cause one wheel is placed behind the other in order to take as little 
room as possible. Sometimes, instead of only one wheel, B, between 
A and C, there will be two or three wheels all of them smaller. The 
train of wheels is then harder to move, and the weight must be heavier. 
If the weight drops two inches in twenty-four hours, it will need a space 


of sixteen inches if it is to run eight days. The length of time that 
the clock will run depends upon three things : 1. The length of the 
pendulum ; 2. The space through which the weight falls ; 3. The 
number of wheels in the train, and the number of teeth in each 
wheel. We have already seen how the length of the pendulum 
can be regulated. If the weight has a small space allowed for its 
fall, the clock may be made to run longer by increasing both the 
weight and the number of teeth. The number of teeth may be in- 
creased by increasing the number of wheels, or by putting in new 

The wheel D, Fig. 3, is called the " center wheel," because it turns 
once in an hour. It has thirty-six teeth. In former times the wheel 
A turned once in twelve hours ; and the axle, or " arbor," a, went 
through a hole in the face of the clock. A hand on the end of the 
arbor passed over certain figures on the face which marked the hours 
from one to twelve. This hand was called the hour-hand ; but, as it 
could not mark the minutes, the center wheel, D, was so made that it 
would turn once in an hour, and thus, by carrying a hand over the face 
outside, marked the minutes. After this change was made no one 
cared whether the wheel A turned in one hour or in three hours, or 
whether the wheel C turned in one half minute or in two minutes, if 
only the wheel D turned in exactly one hour. At d is a " cannon " 
pinion that sticks to the arbor by friction. The minute-hand, which 
is placed upon the pinion, may thus be moved without turning the 
wheel D or any of the other wheels. 

We must now provide an hour-hand. The cannon-pinion a 
(Fig. 4), with twelve leaves, runs on the arbor of the center wheel ; 
but it could not be drawn in Fig. 3, because it is 
behind the center wheel, D. These twelve leaves, ,**' " % 

A (Fig. 4), run into thirty-six teeth in the wheel 
B. You will notice that the teeth and the leaves 
are not drawn in the picture. On the farther side 
of B is the pinion b, with twelve leaves which run 
into the forty-eight teeth of the wheel C. The 
wheel C and the pinion b are marked with dotted 
lines, because they are behind the pinion a and 
the wheel B. If a turns once in an hour, B will 
turn once in three hours, and C once in twelve 
hours. If what is called a "barrel" is placed 
over the cannon-pinion of the center wheel, and FlG 4 

one end of it is fastened to the wheel C, the other 
end that comes through the face of the clock will carry the hour-hand. 
These wheels, in Fig. 4, are independent of the wheels in Fig. 3, except 
that a, in Fig. 4, fits upon the arbor d, of D, in Fig. 3 so loosely that 
you may turn the hour- and the minute-hand whenever you choose, and 
yet tightly enough to turn about with the wheel D if they are not dis- 


turbed. You can, therefore, move the two hands of the clock without 
disturbing any of the wheels in Fig. 3. 

We have seen that the weight must keep pulling, or the clock will 
stop. Sometimes, instead of the weight, a spring is used, especially if 
the clock is small. The spring simply pushes the wheel A in the di- 
rection of the arrow (Fig. 3). When the spring is used the clock may 
have a pendulum escapement, or it may have a wheel escapement like 
that of a watch. But if the pressure of the spring is removed, or if 
the weight (should there be one) is lifted, the clock will stop. When 
you wind up the clock it is the same thing as taking away the weight, 
or the spring, while you are winding. How, then, can you wind it and 
still keep it going ? This is done by what is called a " going-barrel," 
or " maintaining- works." In Fig. 3 you will notice that the wheel A 
turns in the direction of the arrow when the weight pulls down. 
When you wind up the clock the force of the weight is taken off. A 
strong spring is placed on the side of the wheel A that pushes it along 
in the direction of the arrow for the few seconds that you take in 
winding. Another wheel, or barrel, a, is placed on the large wheel A, 
and on this the string that holds the weight is wound. This wheel 
you turn in the opposite direction to that of the arrow. At the same 
time the spring pushes A in the direction of the arrow. You will 
sometimes see an old clock with an endless chain so arranged that, 
by pulling on a small weight, you may lift a large weight, and thus 
wind the clock. Others of the old time-pieces have weights that are 
hung by chains with rings at the upper end. When the weight has 
run down you can pull on the ring and the weight is lifted. You 
will find that all the best clocks, and all the watches, have the " main- 

The striking part of a clock is a very interesting study. It has a 
train of wheels and a weight entirely separate from the train that tells 
the hours and minutes by the hands. The large wheel, B, in Fig. 5, 
really consists of two wheels fastened together. The larger or outer 
wheel has seventy-eight teeth that run into a pinion, , with thirteen 
leaves. The cord that holds the weight is wound on the axle of , on 
which A is also fastened. There are thirteen pins on the surface of A. 
They can not be seen, because they are on the other side of the wheel ; 
but they have been drawn in the picture so that the explanation may 
be more easily understood. As the wheel A turns, each pin strikes 
the end of the lever c, which, when it is released, springs back and 
strikes the bell d. The smaller wheel, B, has notches all about it 
first, one notch ; then two notches close together ; then three notches 
close together ; and so on until you find twelve notches all in one 
place. This makes seventy-eight notches in all. Behind the wheel 
B is a pinion that you can not see. It is turned by the wheel A, but 
it is entirely independent of B, although it turns on the same axis. 
This independent pinion turns a wheel almost as large as B, which 



itself turns a small pinion that carries the "fly-fan." The use of the 
fan is to keep an even motion. The large wheel that we have spoken 
of turns once at every stroke of the bell. In Fig. 5, a wire, e, runs 
over to the center wheel, D. In Fig. 3, a pin on the center wheel 
pushes up this wire when the clock is ready to strike. If the end of 
the wire (in Fig. 5) rests at the four notches, it shows that four o'clock 

Fig. 5. 

has been struck. If the center wheel pushes the wire up again, or pulls 
it out from the notch where it is resting, the large wheels at B are 
released ; the weight commences to turn A and B, and the pins in A 
set the hammer c to striking the bell d. It keeps on striking until 
five has been struck. The wire then drops into a notch and holds 
the striking-wheel fast until the center wheel moves the wire again 
thus saying that it is time to strike six. The wheels then turn again 
until the wire comes down and stops them. Alarm-clocks have an 
arrangement by which the spring that sounds the alarm is let loose at 
the hour when the owner wishes to be awakened. 

The boys who went to school in New England sixty years ago had 
no such device to waken them in cold winter mornings as the modern 
alarm-clock ; they had to waken each other, in order to have a good 
start in kindling their fires, so that they could enjoy an hour's hard 
study, and sometimes a recitation, before breakfast. 


But it was not always convenient for one to keep awake in order 
to waken his companions. The one who was on guard was as sleepy 
as any of the rest : so the inventive brains of the Yankee boys were 
set to work to find some way of giving an alarm at the right time. 
Let it be remembered that, while primitive alarm-clocks were to be 
had in Europe, and while " repeating "- watches were a luxury in 
America, neither of them were to be found in New England as it 
was then. Even if the repeating-watch had been in general use, it 
was valueless, except to tell the time in the dark when one was 
awake. The invention of the alarm-clock was, therefore, a greater 
advance in the history of clock-making than was the invention of 
time-locks in the history of lock-making. The essential feature of 
the time-lock is a chronometer that turns a wheel containing a pin so 
adjusted that it will reach a certain point in a fixed time. Then a 
"dog" drops down, removes the obstruction, and allows the bolt to 
be shoved back. Two chronometers are used, so that, in case one runs 
down, the other will do the work. They are hung on springs, for fear 
that they will run down if the burglars should use dynamite, or some 
other explosive, to give them a sudden jar. 

The Yankee boys, at the time that I have spoken of, were equal 
to the difficulty of awakening at the exact time. They invented a 
contrivance which was an indication of what was corain & in both the 
alarm-clock and the time-lock. Indeed, it was so nearly a combina- 
tion of the two that we must take away from the more modern invent- 
ors some of the credit and bestow it upon the boys. 

In order to explain the plan more clearly, I ought first to say that 
the watches worn by both the men and the boys were of the large and 
coarse pattern known as " bull's-eyes " a name given because the 
crystals were very thick, and bulged out something like the lens of a 
dark-lantern. The watches of this kind were not only very thick, but 
they were very large in diameter. The springs were very strong, and 
the hands were very stout. Therefore, the power that moved the 
hands was much greater than the power that moves the hands in the 
watches that are made to-day. 

The boys prepared a board, abed, Fig. 6, about a foot square. 
Toward the upper edge, at e, they scooped out a place large enough 
for the watch to drop into, and have the face even, or flush, with the 
surface of the board. The face of the watch was then fastened to 
the board. The crystal was opened, or taken away entirely, and thus 
the hands traveled around just as if they had been on the board itself. 
A small wooden lever, j g, was fastened to the board by a nail, f, that 
acted as a fulcrum. Another lever, g i, had a fulcrum at A, and 
touched the first lever at g. The board fras kept at a slant on the 
table by the prop n, or else by a pile of books behind it. The lever 
gj was so adjusted that the minute-hand of the watch would pass 
over the end,J but when the given hour-hand, v, for instance, came 



round, it would strike/ to the left. The effect would be this : g would 
move to the right and i to the left, thus pushing the weight at i from 
the little shelf on which it was balanced, and causing it to tumble 
toward the floor. 

Fig. 6. 

You can imagine that the force set in motion by the hour-hand of 
the watch, even of a " bull's-eye," was not enough to start a very 
heavy weight. Therefore, the dropping of the weight at i was not 
enough of a noise to awaken the boys, but the force that was exerted 
was enough, applied at the end of a long lever, to transfer itself to a 
point where it would do more good. The weight i, in dropping, 
pulled a string that was fastened on the long arm of the lever k m. 
This lever was fastened to the edge of the same table that held the 
square board by a gimlet, or nail, as a fulcrum, at I. When i dropped, 
it pulled h down and pushed m up. The sudden jerk at m pushed 
over a nicely balanced table, upon which had been placed nearly all 
the chairs and other furniture in the room. This certainly made 
enough noise to awaken the occupants of the room, and it is not likely 
there was much sleep after that. It was a great deal of trouble to 
adjust so nicely all the different parts of this primitive alarm-clock ; 
but it never failed to work when care was taken with all the details. 
Let us praise the boys for studying out a scheme which others have 
adopted and called their own. They preferred to lie in bed as long 
as possible, and did not propose to keep awake all night, if any ma- 
chinery could be devised to do the awaking for them. 

A few words in regard to the dial on the face of the clock. The 
dial of a clock, if it is a cheap one, is made of wood and painted white. 
If the dial is small and expensive, it is made of copper on which is 
baked a white enamel surface. The figures are marked in black paint, 
which is sometimes burned or " baked in." The usual size of the fig- 


ures from I to XII is one third of the distance from the outer circle 
toward the center. If the face of the clock is white, the figures and 
the hands should be black. If the face is black, or any dark color, the 
figures and hands should be either white or gilt. The dials of tower- 
clocks are frequently illuminated by gas or electricity, so that the time 
may be easily determined at night. 





LIMITED, as thus far drawn, to a certain common trait of those 
minute organisms which are mostly below the reach of unaided 
vision, the foregoing conclusion appears trivial enough. But it ceases 
to appear trivial on passing beyond these limits, and observing the im- 
plications, direct and indirect, as they concern plants and animals of 
sensible sizes. 

Popular expositions of science have so far familiarized many read- 
ers with a certain fundamental trait of living things around, that they 
have ceased to perceive how marvellous a trait it is, and until inter- 
preted by the Theory of Evolution, how utterly mysterious. In past 
times, the conception of an ordinary plant or animal which prevailed, 
not throughout the world at large only but among the most instructed, 
was that it is a single continuous entity. One of these living things 
was unhesitatingly regarded as being in all respects a unit. Parts it 
might have, various in their sizes, forms, and compositions ; but these 
were components of a whole which had been from the beginning in its 
original nature a whole. Even to naturalists fifty years ago, the as- 
sertion that a cabbage or a cow, though in one sense a whole, is in 
another sense a vast society of minute individuals, severally living in 
greater or less degrees, and some of them maintaining their independ- 
ent lives unrestrained, would have seemed an absurdity. But this 
truth which, like so many of the truths established by science, is con- 
trary to that common sense in which most people have so much confi- 
dence, has been gradually growing clear since the days when Leeu- 
wenhoeck and his contemporaries began to examine through lenses the 
minute structures of common plants and animals. Each improvement 
in the microscope, while it has widened our knowledge of those minute 
forms of life described above, has revealed further evidence of the fact 
that all the larger forms of life consist of units severally allied in their 
fundamental traits to these minute forms of life. Though, as formu- 
lated by Schwann and Schleiden, the cell-doctrine has undergone quali- 
fications of statement ; yet the qualifications have not been such as to 
militate against the general proposition that organisms visible to the 


naked eye, are severally compounded of invisible organisms using 
that word in its most comprehensive sense. And then, when the de- 
velopment of any animal is traced, it is found that having been prima- 
rily a nucleated cell, and having afterwards become by spontaneous 
fission a cluster of nucleated cells, it goes on through successive stages 
to form out of such cells, ever multiplying and modifying in various 
ways, the several tissues and organs composing the adult. 

On the hypothesis of evolution this universal trait has to be ac- 
cepted not as a fact that is strange but unmeaning. It has to be ac- 
cepted as evidence that all the visible forms of life have arisen by 
union of the invisible forms ; which, instead of flying apart, when 
they divided, remained together. Various intermediate stages are 
known. Among plants, those of the Volvox type show us the com- 
ponent protophytes so feebly combined that they severally carry on 
their lives with no appreciable subordination to the life of the group. 
And among animals, a parallel relation between the lives of the units 
and the life of the group is shown us in Uroglena and Syncrypta. 
From these first stages upwards, may be traced through successively 
higher types, an increasing subordination of the units to the aggre- 
gate ; though still a subordination leaving to them conspicuous 
amounts of individual activity. Joining which facts with the phe- 
nomena presented by the cell-multiplication and aggregation of every 
unfolding germ, naturalists are now accepting the conclusion that by 
this process of composition from Protozoa were formed all classes of 
the Metazoa* (as animals formed by this compounding are now 
called) ; and that in a similar way from Protophyta, were formed all 
classes of what, by analogy, I suppose will be called Metap>hyta, 
though the word does not yet seem to have become current. 

And now what is the general meaning of these truths, taken in 
connexion with the conclusion reached in the last section ? It is that 
this universal trait of the Metazoa and Metaphyta, must be ascribed 
to the primitive action and re-action between the organism and its 
medium. The operation of those forces which produced the primary 
differentiation of outer from inner in early minute masses of proto- 
plasm, pre-determined this universal cell-structure of all embryos, 
plant and animal, and the consequent cell-composition of adult forms 
arising from them. How unavoidable is this implication, will be seen 
on carrying further an illustration already used that of the shingle- 
covered shore, the pebbles on w T hich, w T hile being in some cases select- 
ed, have been in all cases rounded and smoothed. Suppose a bed of 
such shingle to be, as we often see it, solidified, along w T ith interfused 
material, into a conglomerate. What in such case must be considered 
as the chief trait of such conglomerate ; or rather what must we re- 
gard as the chief cause of its distinctive characters ? Evidently the 
action of the sea. Without the breakers, no pebbles ; without the 

* A Treatise on Comparative Embryology, By F..M. Balfour.. Tol. II, chap. xiii. 
vol. xxix. 13 


pebbles, no conglomerate. Similarly then, in the absence of that 
aetion of the medium by which was effected the differentiation of 

outer from inner in those microscopic portions of protoplasm consti- 
tuting the earliest and simplest animals and plants, there could not 
have existed this cardinal trait of composition which all the higher 
animals and plants show us. 

So that, active as has been the part played by natural seleetion, 
alike in modifying and moulding the original units largely as sur- 
viva! of the fittest has been instrumental in farthering and controlling 
the a cerebration of these units into visible organisms and eventually 
into large ones : ye: we must ascribe to the direct effect of the me- 
dium on primitive forms of life, that primordial trait of which this 
everywhere-operative factor has taken advantage. 

Let us turn now : a another and more manifest trait of higher or- 
nisms, for whieh also there is this same general cause. Let us ob- 

serve how, on a higher platform, there recurs this differentiation of 
outer from inner how this primary trait in the living units with 
whieh life eommenees, re-appears as a primary trait in those aggre- 
- eh units whieh constitute visible organisms. 

I:: its simplest and most unmistakable form, we see this in the 
early ehanges of an unfolding ovum of primitive type. The original 
fertilized single cell, having by spontaneous fusion multiplied into a 
cluster of sueh cells, there begins to show itself a contrast between 
periphery and centre ; and presently there is formed a sphere consist- 
ing of a superficial layer unlike its contents. The first change, then, 
is the rise of a difference between that outer part which holds direct 
".verse with the surrounding medium, and that inclosed part which 
does not. This primary differentiation in these compound embryos 
of higher animals, parallels the primary differentiation undergone by 
the simplest living things. 

Leaving, for the present, succeeding changes of the compound 
embryo, the significance of which we shall have to consider by-and- 
by. let us pass now to the adult forms of visible plants and animals. 
In them we find cardinal traits which, after what we have seen above, 
will further impress us with the importance of the effects wrought on 
the organism bv its medium. 

From the thallus of a sea-weed up to the leaf of a highly developed 
pha?nogam, we find, at all stages, a contrast between the inner and 
outer parts of these flattened masses of tissue. In the higher Alg 
"' he outermost lavers consist of smaller and firmer cells, while the 
inner cells are often very large, and sometimes extremely long : n * 
and in the leaves of trees the epidermal layer, besides differing in the 
sizes and shapes of its component cells from the parenchyma forming 
the inner substance of the leaf, is itself differentiated bv having a con- 

* Sachs, p. 210. 


tinuous cuticle, and by Laving the outer walls of its cells unlike the 
inner walls.* Especially instructive is the structure of such inter- 
mediate types as the Liverworts. Beyond the differentiation of the 
raring cells from the contained cells, and the contrast between up- 
per surface and under surface, the frond of Marchantia polymorph". 
clearly shows us the direct effect of incident forces : and shows us, 
too, how it is involved with the effect of inherited proclivities. The 
frond grows from a flat disc-shaped gemma, the two sides of which 
are alike. Either side may fall uppermost ; and then of the develop- 
ing shoot, the side exposed to the light "is under all circumstam 
the upper side which forms stornata, the dark side becomes the under 
side which produces root-hairs and leafy processes.' 1 i 80 that while 
we have undeniable proof that the contrasted influences of the medi- 
um on the two sides, initiate the differentiation, we have also proof 
that the completion of it is determined by the transmitted structure 
of the type ; since it is impossible to ascribe the development of 
stomata to the direct action of air and light. On turning from 
foliar expansion to stems and roots, facts of like meaning m- 
08. Speaking generally of epidermal tissue and inner tissue, Sachs 
remarks that "the contrast of the two is the plainer the more the 
part of the plant concerned is exposed to air and light." J E^ - 
where, in correspondence with this, it is said that in roots the cells 
of the epidermis, though distinguished by bearing hairs, "are other- 
wise similar to those of the fundamental tissue " * which they clothe, 
while the cuticular covering is relatively thin ; whereas in stems 
the epidermis (often further differentiated) is composed of layers of 
cells which are smaller and thicker- walled : a stronger contrast of 
structure corresponding to a stronger contrast of conditions. By way 
of meeting the suggestion that these respective differences are wholly 
due to the natural selection of favourable variations, it will suffice if 
I draw attention to the unlikeness between imbedded roots and ex- 
posed roots. "While in darkness, and surrounded by moist earth, the 
outermost protective coats, even of large roots, are comparatively 
thin ; but when the accidents of growth entail permanent exposure to 
light and air, roots acquire coverings allied in character to the cover- 
ings of branches. That the action of the medium causes these and 
converse changes, cannot be doubted when we find, on the one hand, 
that "roots can become directly transformed into leaf-bearing shoot-. " 
and, on the other hand, that in some plants certain "apparent roots 
are only underground shoots," and that nevertheless "they are similar 
to true roots in function and in the formation of tissue, but have no 
root-cap, and, when they come to the light above ground, continue to 
grow in the manner of ordinary leaf-shoots." ] If, then, in highly de- 
veloped plants inheriting pronounced structures, this differentiating 

* Sachs, pp. S3-4. f Ibid., p. 135. J Ibid., p. 3. * PAd., p. 83. 

I Ibid., p. 147. 


influence of the medium is so marked, it must have been all-important 
at the outset while types were undetermined. 

As with plants so with animals, we find good reason for inferring 
that while all the specialities of the tegumentary parts must be as- 
cribed to the natural selection of favourable variations, their most 
general traits are due to the direct action of surrounding agencies. 
Here we come upon the border of those changes which are ascribable 
to use and disuse. But from this class of changes we may fitly ex- 
clude those in which the parts concerned are wholly or mainly passive. 
A corn and a blister will conveniently serve to illustrate the way in 
which certain outer actions produce in the superficial tissues, effects of 
a purely physical kind effects related neither to the needs of the 
organism nor to its structural proclivities. They are neither adaptive 
changes nor changes towards completion of the type. After noting 
them we may pass to allied, but still more instructive, facts. Contin- 
uous pressure on any portion of the surface causes absorption, while 
intermittent pressure causes growth : the one impeding circulation and 
the passage of plasma from the capillaries into the tissues, and the 
other aiding both. There are further mechanically-produced effects. 
That the general character of the ribbed skin on the under surfaces of 
the feet and insides of the hands is directly due to friction and inter- 
mittent pressure, we have the proofs : first, that the tracts most ex- 
posed to rough usage are the most ribbed ; second, that the insides of 
hands subject to unusual amounts of rough usage, as those of sailors, 
are strongly ribbed all over ; and third, that in hands which are very 
little used, the parts commonly ribbed become quite smooth. These 
several kinds of evidence, however, full of meaning as they are, I give 
simply to prepare the way for evidence of a much more conclusive 

"Where ulceration has eaten away the deep-seated layer out of 
which the epidermis grows, or where this layer has been destroyed by 
an extensive burn, the process of healing is very significant. From 
the subjacent tissues, which in the normal order have no concern with 
outward growth, there is produced a new skin, or rather a pro-skin ; for 
this substituted outward-growing layer contains no hair-follicles or other 
specialities of the original one. Nevertheless, it is like the original one 
in so far that it is a continually renewed protective covering. Doubtless 
it may be contended that this make-shift skin results from the inherited 
proclivity of the type the tendency to complete afresh the structure 
of the species when injured. "We cannot, however, ignore the imme- 
diate influence of the medium, on recalling the facts above named, or 
on remembering the further fact that an inflamed surface of skin, 
when not sheltered from the air, will throw out a film of coagulable 
lymph. But that the direct action of the medium is a chief factor we 
are clearly shown by another case. Accident or disease occasionally 
causes permanent eversion, or protrusion, of mucous membrane. After 


a period of irritability, great at first but decreasing as the change ad- 
vances, this membrane assumes the general character of ordinary skin. 
Nor is this all : its microscopic structure changes. Where it is a mu- 
cous membrane of the kind covered by cylinder-epithelium, the cylin- 
ders gradually shorten, becoming finally flat, and there results a squa- 
mous epithelium : there is a near approach in minute composition to 
epidermis. Here a tendency towards completion of the type cannot 
be alleged ; for there is, contrariwise, divergence from the type. The 
effect of the medium is so great that, in a short time, it overcomes the 
inherited proclivity and produces a structure of opposite kind to the 
normal one. 

Fully to perceive the way in which these evidences compel us to 
recognize the influence of the medium as a primordial factor, we need 
but conceive them as interpreted without it. Suppose, for instance, 
we say that the structure of the epidermis is wholly determined by 
the natural selection of favourable variations ; what must be the posi- 
tion taken in presence of the fact above named, that the cell-structure 
of mucous membrane changes into the cell-structure of skin when 
mucous membrane is exposed to the air ? The position taken must be 
this : Though mucous membrane in a highly-evolved individual or- 
ganism, thus shows the powerful effect of the medium on its surface ; 
yet we must not suppose that the medium had the effect of producing 
such a cell-structure on the surfaces of primitive forms, undifferen- 
tiated though they were ; or, if we suppose that such an effect was 
produced on them, we must not suppose that it was inheritable. Con- 
trariwise, we must suppose that such effects of the medium either were 
not wrought at all, or that they were evanescent : though repeated 
through millions upon millions of generations they left no traces. 
And we must conclude that this skin -structure arose only in conse- 
quence of spontaneous variations not physically initiated (though like 
those physically initiated) which natural selection laid hold of and in- 
creased. Does any one think this a tenable position ? 

And now we approach the last and chief series of morphological 
phenomena which must be ascribed to the direct action of environing 
matters and forces. These are presented to us when we study the 
early stages in the development of the embryos of the Metazoa in 

We will set out with the fact already noted in passing, that after 
repeated spontaneous fissions have changed the original fertilized germ- 
cell into that cluster of cells which forms a gemmule or a primitive 
ovum, the first contrast which arises is between the peripheral parts 
and the central parts. Where, as with lower creatures which do not 
lay up large stores of nutriment with the germs of their offspring, the 
inner mass is inconsiderable, the outer layer of cells, which are pres- 
ently made quite small by repeated subdivisions, forms a membrane 


extending over the whole surface the blastoderm. The next stage of 
development, which ends in this covering layer becoming double, is 
reached in two ways by invagination and by delamination ; but which 
is the original way, and which the abridged way, is not quite certain. 
Of invagination, multitudinously exemplified in the lowest types, Mr. 
Balfour says : " On purely d priori grounds there is in my opinion 
more to be said for invagination than for any other view " ; * and, for 
present purposes, it will suffice if we limit ourselves to this : making 
its nature clear to the general reader by a simple illustration. 

Take a small india-rubber ball not of the inflated kind, nor of the 
solid kind, but of the kind about an inch or so in diameter with a small 
hole through which, under pressure, the air escapes. Suppose that in- 
stead of consisting of india-rubber its wall consists of small cells made 
polyhedral in form by mutual pressure, and united together. This will 
represent the blastoderm. Now with the finger, thrust in one side of 
the ball until it touches the other : so making a cup. This action will 
stand for the process of invagination. Imagine that by continuance of 
it, the hemispherical cup becomes very much deepened and the open- 
ing narrowed, until the cup becomes a sac, of which the introverted 
wall is everywhere in contact with the outer wall. This will repre- 
sent the two-layered "gastrula" the simplest ancestral form of the 
Metazoa: a form which is permanently represented in some of the 
lowest types ; for it needs but tentacles round the mouth of the 
sac, to produce a common hydra. Here the fact which it chiefly 
concerns us to remark, is that of these two layers the outer, called 
in embryological language the epiblast, continues to carry on direct 
converse with the forces and matters in the environment ; while the 
inner, called the hypoblast, comes in contact with such only of 
these matters as are put into the food-cavity which it lines. We 
have further to note that in the embryos of Metazoa at all ad- 
vanced in organization, there arises between these two layers a third 
the mescblast. The origin of this is seen in types where the devel- 
opmental process is not obscured by the presence of a large food-yolk. 
While the above-described introversion is taking place, and before the 
inner surfaces of the resulting epiblast and hypoblast have come into 
contact, cells, or amoeboid units equivalent to them, are budded off 
from one or both of these inner surfaces, or some part of one or other ; 
and these form a layer which eventually lies between the other two 
a layer which, as this mode of formation implies, never has any con- 
verse with the surrounding medium and its contents, or with the nu- 
tritive bodies taken in from it. The striking facts to which this de- 
scription is a necessary introduction, may now be stated. From the 
outer layer, or epiblast, are developed the permanent skin and its out- 
growths, the nervous system, and the organs of sense ; from the intro- 

* A Treatise on Comparative Embryology. By Francis M. Balfour, ll. d., f. r. s. Yol. 
II, p, 343 (second edition). 


verted layer, or hypoblast, are developed the alimentary canal along 
with those parts of its appended organs, liver, pancreas, &c, which 
are concerned in delivering their secretions into the alimentary canal, 
as well as the linings of those ramifying tubes in the lungs which con- 
vey air to the places where gaseous exchange is effected. And from 
the mesoblast originate the bones, the muscles, the heart and blood- 
vessels, and the lymphatics, together with such parts of various internal 
organs as are most remotely concerned with the outer world. Minor 
qualifications being admitted, there remain the broad general facts, 
that out of that part of the external layer which remains permanently 
external, are developed all the structures which carry on intercourse 
with the medium and its contents, active and passive ; out of the in- 
troverted part of this external layer, are developed the structures which 
carry on intercourse with the quasi-external substances that are taken 
into the interior solid food, Water, and air ; while out of the meso- 
blast are developed structures which have never had, from first to last, 
any intercourse with the environment. Let us contemplate these gen- 
eral facts. 

Who would have imagined that the nervous svstem is a modified 
portion of the primitive epidermis? In the absence of proofs fur- 
nished by the concurrent testimony of embryologists during the last 
thirty or forty years, who would have believed that the brain arises 
from an infolded tract of the outer skin, which, sinking down beneath 
the surface, becomes imbedded in other tissues and eventually sur- 
rounded by a bony case ? Yet the human nervous system in common 
with the nervous systems of lower animals is thus originated. In the 
words of Mr. Balfour, early embryological changes imply that 

" the functions of the central nervous system, which were originally taken 
by the whole skin, became gradually concentrated in a special part of the skin 
which was step by step removed from the surface, and has finally become in the 
higher types a well-defined organ imbedded in the subdermal tissues. . . . The 
embryological evidence shows that the ganglion-cells of the central part of the 
nervous system are originally derived from the simple undifferentiated epithelial 
cells of the surface of the body." * 

Less startling perhaps, though still startling enough, is the fact that 
the eye is evolved out of a portion of the skin ; and that while the 
crystalline lens and its surroundings thus originate, the "percipient 
portions of the organs of special sense, especially of optic organs, are 
often formed from the same part of the primitive epidermis" which 
forms the central nervous system, f Similarly is it with the organs 
for smelling and hearing. These, too, begin as sacs formed by infold- 
ings of the epidermis ; and while their parts are developing they are 
joined from within by nervous structures which were themselves epi- 
dermic in origin. How are we to interpret these strange transforma- 
tions ? Observing, as we pass, how absurd from the point of view of 

* Balfour, I.e. Vol. ii, p. 400-1. f Ibid., p. 401. 


the special-creationist, would appear such a filiation of structures, and 
such a round-about mode of embryonic development, we have here to 
remark that the process is not one to have been anticipated as a result 
of natural selection. After numbers of spontaneous variations had 
occurred, as the hypothesis implies, in useless ways, the variation which 
primarily initiated a nervous centre might reasonably have been ex- 
pected to occur in some internal part where it would be fitly located : 
its initiation in a dangerous place and subsequent migration to a safe 
place, would be incomprehensible. Not so if we bear in mind the 
cardinal truth above set forth, that the structures for holding converse 
with the medium and its contents, arise in that completely superficial 
part which is directly affected by the medium and its contents ; and 
if we draw the inference that the external actions themselves initiate 
the structures. These once commenced, and furthered by natural 
selection where favourable to life, would form the first term of a series 
ending in developed sense organs and a developed nervous system.* 

Though it would enforce the argument, I must, for brevity's sake, 
pass over the analogous evolution of that introverted layer, or hypo- 
blast, out of which the alimentary canal and attached organs arise. 
It will suffice to emphasize the fact that having been originally exter- 
nal, this layer continues in its developed form to have a quasi-exter- 
nality, alike in its digesting part and in its respiratory part ; since it 
continues to deal with matters alien to the organism. I must also re- 
frain from dwelling at length on the fact already adverted to, that 
the intermediate derived layer, or mesoblast, which was at the outset 
completely internal, originates those structures which ever remain 
completely internal, and have no communication with the environment 
save through the structures developed from the other two : an antithe- 
sis which has great significance. 

Here, instead of dwelling on these details, it will be better to draw 
attention to the most general aspect of the facts. Whatever may be 
the course of subsequent changes, the first change is the formation of 
a superficial layer or blastoderm ; and by whatever series of transfor- 
mations the adult structure is reached, it is from the blastoderm that 
all the organs forming the adult originate. "Why this marvellous 
fact ? "Why out of the primitive mass of organizable substance which 
is to form a new creature, should its surface be the part from which is 
remotely derived its entire structure ? Before embryologists had es- 
tablished this truth, anyone who had asserted it would have been 
thought insane ; and even now it remains a mystery if we refuse to 
take account of the direct relations between the organism and the 
medium. But we need only consider the incidents of this relation to 
get a feasible explanation. Before yet the primitive metazoon had any 
structure beyond that possessed by its component cells, its outer sur- 

* For a general delineation of the changes by which the development is effected, see 
Balfour, I.e. Vol. ii, pp. 401-4. 


face was the part through which nutritive matters were taken in and 
through which were absorbed and exhaled, oxygen and carbonic acid. 
Its outer surface was the part which now touched quiescent masses, and 
now received the collisions consequent on its own motions or the mo- 
tions of others similarly carried along by their cilia. Its outer surface 
was the part to receive the sound-vibrations occasionally propagated 
through the water ; the part to be affected more strongly than any 
other by those variations in the amounts of light caused by the pass- 
ing of small bodies close to it ; and the part which met those diffused 
molecules constituting odours. That is to say, at the outset the sur- 
face was the part on which there fell the various influences pervading 
the environment, through which there passed the materials for growth 
furnished by the environment, by which there were received those im- 
pressions from the environment serving for the guidance of actions, 
and which had to bear the mechanical re-actions consequent upon such 
actions. Necessarily, therefore, the surface was the part in which 
were initiated the various instrumentalities for carrying on intercourse 
with the environment. To suppose otherwise is to suppose that such 
instrumentalities arose internally where they could neither be operated 
on by surrounding agencies nor operate on them, where the differen- 
tiating forces did not come into play, and the differentiated structures 
had nothing to do ; and it is to suppose that meanwhile the parts 
directly exposed to the differentiating forces remained unchanged. 
Clearly, then, organization could not but begin on the surface ; and 
having thus begun, its subsequent course could not but be determined 
by its superficial origin. And hence these remarkable facts showing 
us that individual evolution is accomplished by successive in-foldings 
and in-growings. Doubtless natural selection soon came into action, 
as, for example, in the removal of the rudimentary nervous centres 
from the surface ; since an individual in which they were a little more 
deeply seated would be less likely to be incapacitated by injury of 
them. And so in multitudinous other ways. But nevertheless, as we 
here see, natural selection could operate only under subjection : it 
could do no more than take advantage of those structural changes 
which the medium and its contents initiated. 

See, then, how large has been the part played by this primordial 
factor. Had it done no more than give to Protozoa and Protophyta 
that cell-form which characterizes them had it done no more than 
entail the cellular composition which is so remarkable a trait of Meta- 
zoa and Metaphyta had it done no more than cause the repetition in 
all visible animals and plants of that primary differentiation of outer 
from inner which it first wrought in animals and plants invisible to 
the naked eye ; it would have done much towards giving to organ- 
isms of all kinds certain leading traits. But it has done more than 
this. By causing the first differentiations of those clusters of units 
out of which visible animals in general arose, it fixed the starting place 


for organization, and therefore determined the course of organization ; 
and, doing this, gave indelible traits to embryonic transformations and 
to adult structures. 

Though mainly carried on after the inductive method, the argument 
at the close of the foregoing section has verged towards the deductive. 
Here let us follow for a space the deductive method pure and simple. 
Doubtless in biology d priori reasoning is dangerous ; but there can 
be no danger in considering whether its results coincide with those 
reached by reasoning d posteriori. 

Biologists in general agree that in the present state of the world, 
no such thing happens as the rise of a living creature out of non-living 
matter. They do not deny, however, that at a remote period in the 
past, when the temperature of the Earth's surface w T as much higher 
than at present, and other physical conditions were unlike those we 
know, inorganic matter, through successive complications, gave origin 
to organic matter. So many substances once supposed to belong ex- 
clusively to living bodies, have now been formed artificially, that men 
of science scarcely question the conclusion that there are conditions 
under which, by yet another step of composition, quaternary com- 
pounds of lower types pass into those of highest types. That there 
once took place gradual divergence of the organic from the inorganic, 
is, indeed, a necessary implication of the hypothesis of Evolution, taken 
as a whole ; and if we accept it as a whole, we must put to ourselves 
the question What were the early stages of progress which followed, 
after the most complex form of matter had arisen out of forms of mat- 
ter a degree less complex ? 

At first, protoplasm could have had no proclivities to one or other 
arrangement of parts ; unless, indeed, a purely mechanical proclivity 
towards a spherical form when suspended in a liquid. At the outset 
it must have been passive. In respect of its passivity, primitive or- 
ganic matter must have been like inorganic matter. No such thing 
as spontaneous variation could have occurred in it ; for variation 
implies some habitual course of change from which it is a divergence, 
and is therefore excluded where there is no habitual course of change. 
In the absence of that cyclical series of metamorphoses which even 
the simplest living thing now shows us, as a result of its inherited 
constitution, there could be no point oVappiti for natural selection. 
How, then, did organic evolution begin ? 

If a primitive mass of organic matter was like a mass of inorganic 
matter in respect of its passivity, and differed only in respect of its 
greater changeableness ; then we must infer that its first changes con- 
formed to the same general law as do the changes of an inorganic 
mass. The instability of the homogeneous is a universal principle. 
In all cases the homogeneous tends to pass into the heterogeneous, and 
the less heterogeneous into the more heterogeneous. In the primor- 


dial units of protoplasm, then, the step with which evolution com- 
menced must have been the passage from a state of complete likeness 
throughout the mass to a state in which there existed some unlikeness. 
Further, the cause of this step in one of these portions of organic mat- 
ter, as in any portion of inorganic matter, must have been the differ- 
ent exposure of its parts to incident forces. What incident forces ? 
Those of its medium or environment. Which were the parts thus 
differently exposed ? Necessarily the outside and the inside. Inevi- 
tably, then, alike in the organic aggregate and the inorganic aggregate 
(supposing it to have coherence enough to maintain constant relative 
positions among its parts), the first fall from homogeneity to hetero- 
geneity must always have been the differentiation of the external sur- 
face from the internal contents. No matter whether the modification 
was physical or chemical, one of composition or of decomposition, it 
comes within the same generalization. The direct action of the me- 
dium was the primordial factor of organic evolution. 

In his article on Evolution in the Encyclopedia Britannica, Pro- 
fessor Huxley writes as follows : 

"How far 'natural selection' suffices for the production of species remains 
to be seen. Few can doubt that, if not the whole cause, it is a very important 
factor in that operation. . . . 

On the evidence of palaeontology, the evolution of many existing forms of animal 
life from their predecessors is no longer an hypothesis, but an historical fact; it 
is only the nature of the physiological factors to which that evolution is due 
which is still open to discussion." 

With these passages I may fitly join a remark made in the admirable 
address Prof. Huxley delivered before unveiling the statue of Mr. 
Darwin in the Museum at South Kensington. Deprecating the sup- 
position that an authoritative sanction was given by the ceremony to 
the current ideas concerning organic evolution, he said that "science 
commits suicide when it adopts a creed." 

Along with larger motives, one motive which has joined in prompt- 
ing the foregoing articles, has been the desire to point out that already 
among biologists, the beliefs concerning the origin of species have 
assumed too much the character of a creed ; and that while becoming 
settled they have been narrowed. So far from further broadening 
that broader view which Mr. Darwin reached as he grew older, his 
followers appear to have retrograded towards a more restricted view 
than he ever expressed. Thus there seems occasion for recognizing 
the warning uttered by Prof. Huxley, as not uncalled for. 

Whatever may be thought of the foregoing arguments and conclu- 
sions, they will perhaps serve to show that it is as yet far too soon to 
close the inquiry concerning the causes of organic evolution. 




THE tribes composing the Blackf oot Confederacy, as it is commonly 
styled, are in some respects the most important and interesting 
Indian communities of the Northwest ; but they have been until re- 
cently less known than any others in that region. A report on these 
tribes having been requested by the British Association for the Ad- 
vancement of Science, a correspondence was opened by the writer 
with two able and zealous missionaries residing among those Indians. 
These were the Rev. Albert Lacombe, widely and favorably known as 
Father Lacombe, author of a valuable grammar and dictionary of the 
Cree language, and now missionary among the Siksika, or proper Black- 
foot Indians ; and the Rev. John McLean, missionary of the Canadian 
Methodist Church to the Blood and Piegan tribes, who is now pre- 
paring a translation of the Scriptures into the Blackfoot tongue. To 
these gentlemen, who responded most courteously and liberally to the 
inquiries made of them, the report (of which the following is mainly 
a summary) is indebted for most of the facts which it contains. For 
the conclusions drawn from these facts the writer only is responsible. 
Some other sources have been consulted, particularly the valuable 
official reports of the Canadian and United States Indian Depart- 
ments. Something has also been drawn from the writer's own notes, 
made formerly during an exploring tour in Oregon. 

Fifty years ago the Blackfoot Confederacy held among the West- 
ern tribes much the same position of superiority which was held two 
centuries ago by the Iroquois Confederacy (then known as the Five 
Nations) among the Indians east of the Mississippi. The tribes of the 
former confederacy were also, when first known, five in number. The 
nucleus, or main body, was as it still is composed of three tribes 
speaking the proper Blackfoot language. These are the Siksika, or 
Blackfeet proper, the JTena, or Blood Indians, and the Piekane, or 
Piegans (pronounced Peegans) a name sometimes corrupted to Pa- 
gan Indians. Two other tribes joined this original confederacy, or, 
perhaps, more accurately speaking, came under its protection. These 
were the Sarcees from the north and the Atsinas from the south. The 
Sarcees are an offshoot of the great Athabascan stock, which is spread 
over the north of British America, in contact with the Esquimaux, and 
extends, in scattered bands the Umpquas, Apaches, and others 
through Oregon and California, into Northern Mexico. The Atsinas, 
who have been variously known, from the reports of Indian traders, 
as Fall Indians, Rapid Indians, and Gros Ventres, speak a dialect simi- 
lar to that of the Arapahoes, who now reside in the " Indian Terri- 
tory" of the United States. It is a peculiarly harsh and difficult Ian- 


guage, and is said to be spoken only by those two tribes. None of 
the Atsinas are now found on Canadian territory, and no recent infor- 
mation has been obtained concerning them except from the map which 
accompanies the United States Indian Report for 1884, in which their 
name appears on the American Blackfoot Reservation. 

The five tribes were reckoned, fifty years ago, to comprise not less 
than thirty thousand souls. Their numbers, union, and warlike spirit, 
made them the terror of all the Western Indians. It was not uncom- 
mon for thirty or forty war-parties to be out at once against the hos- 
tile tribes of Oregon and of the eastern plains, from the Shoshonees 
of the south to the Crees of the far north. The country which the 
Blackfoot tribes claimed properly as their own comprised the valleys 
and plains along the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains, from the 
Missouri to the Saskatchewan. This region was the favorite resort of 
the buffalo, whose vast herds afforded the Indians their principal 
means of subsistence. In the year 1836 a terrible visitation of the 
small-pox swept off two thirds of the people ; and five years later they 
were supposed to count not more than fifteen hundred tents, or about 
ten thousand souls. Their enemies were then recovering their spirits 
and retaliating upon the weakened tribes the ravages which they had 
formerly committed. 

In 1855 the United States Government humanely interfered to 
bring about a complete cessation of hostilities between the Blackfoot 
tribes and the other Indians. The commissioners appointed for the 
purpose summoned the hostile tribes together and framed a treaty for 
them, accompanying the act with a liberal distribution of presents to 
bring the tribes into good-humor. This judicious proceeding proved 
effectual. Dr. F. V. Hayden, in his account of the Indian tribes of 
the Missouri Valley, states that from the period of the treaty the 
Blackfoot tribes had become more and more peaceful in their habits, 
and were considered, when he wrote, the best disposed Indians in the 
Northwest. He remarks that their earlier reputation for ferocity was 
doubtless derived from their enemies, who always gave them ample 
cause for attacking them. "In an intellectual and moral point of 
view," he adds, " they take the highest rank among the wild tribes of 
the West." The recent reports of the Indian agents and other officials 
of the Canadian Northwest confirm this favorable opinion of the supe- 
rior honesty and intelligence of the Blackfoot tribes. While con- 
stantly harassed on their reserves by the incursions of thievish Crees 
and other Indians, who rob them of their horses, they forbear to re- 
taliate, and honorably abide by the terms of their late treaty, which 
binds them to leave the redress of such grievances to the Canadian 

Since the general peace was established by the American Govern- 
ment, the numbers of the Blackfeet have apparently been on the in- 
crease. Dr. Hayden reports the three proper Blackfoot tribes as num- 


bering, in 1855, about seven thousand souls. The present population 
of the three Canadian reserves is computed at about six thousand, 
divided as follows : Blackfeet proper (Siksika), twenty-four hundred ; 
Bloods, twenty-eight hundred ; Piegans, eight hundred. On the 
American reservation there are said to be about twenty-three hundred, 
mostly Piegans. This would make the total population of the three 
tribes exceed eight thousand souls. The adopted tribe, the Sarcees, 
have greatly diminished in numbers through the ravages of the small- 
pox. There are now less than five hundred, who reside on a small 
reserve of their own, near the town of Calgary. 

During the past five years, as is well known, a great change has 
taken place in the condition of all the Western tribes through the 
complete extermination of the buffalo. The Blackfeet have been the 
greatest sufferers from this cause. The herds were not only their 
main dependence for food, but also furnished the skins which made 
their tents and their clothing. Suddenly, almost without warning, 
they found themselves stripped of nearly every necessary of life. The 
Governments both of the United States and of Canada came to their 
rescue ; but in the former country the urgency of the case was not at 
first fully comprehended, and before the necessary relief came many 
of the Indians perished from actual starvation. On the Canadian side, 
fortunately, the emergency was better understood. Arrangements 
were at once made for settling the Indians on reserves suited for agri- 
culture, and for supplying them with food and clothing, and teaching 
them to erect wooden houses and cultivate their lands. The Indians 
displayed a remarkable readiness to adapt themselves to their new 
conditions. In 1880 the buffalo finally disappeared. In 1882, accord- 
ing to the official reports, more than half a million pounds of potatoes 
were raised by the three Blackfoot tribes, besides considerable quan- 
tities of oats, barley, and turnips. The Piegans had sold one thou- 
sand dollars' worth of potatoes, and had a large supply on hand. " The 
manner in which the Indians have worked," writes the agent, "is real- 
ly astonishing, as is the interest they have taken and are taking in 
farming." Axes and other tools were distributed among them, and 
were put to good use. In November, 1882, the agent writes that log- 
houses "had gone up thick and fast on the reserves, and were most 
creditable to the builders." In many cases the logs were hewed, and 
in nearly all the houses fireplaces were built. In the same year 
another official, the Indian commissioner, going through the reserves, 
was surprised at the progress which he saw. He found comfortable 
dwellings, cultivated gardens, and good supplies of potatoes in root- 
houses. Most of the families had cooking-stoves, for which they had 
sometimes paid as much as fifty dollars. He " saw many signs of 
civilization, such as cups and saucers, knives and forks, coal-oil lamps, 
and tables ; and several of the women were baking excellent bread, 
and performing other cooking operations." Three years before, these 


Indians were wild nomads, who lived in skin tents, hunted the buffalo, 
and had probably never seen a plow or an axe. 

The Blackfeet have been known to the whites for about a century, 
and during that period have dwelt in or near their present abode. 
There is evidence, however, that they once lived farther east than at 
present. Mackenzie, in 1789, found the three Blackfoot tribes, with 
their allies, the Fall Indians (or Atsinas), holding the South Branch 
of the Saskatchewan, from its source to its junction with the North 
Branch a region of which the eastern portion was at a later day 
possessed by the Crees. Of the Blackfoot tribes, he says : " They are 
a distinct people, speak a language of their own, and I have reason 
to think are traveling northwest, as well as the others just mentioned 
(the Atsinas) ; nor have I heard of any Indians with whose language 
that which they speak has any affinity." 

The result of Mr. McLean's inquiries confirms this opinion of the 
westward movement of these Indians in comparatively recent times. 
" The former home of these Indians," he writes, " was in the Red 
River country, where, from the nature of the soil which blackened 
their moccasins, they were called Blackfeet." This, it should be 
stated, is the exact meaning of Siksika, from siTcsinam, black, and 
ha, the root of ohkatsh, foot. The westward movement of the Black- 
feet has probably been due to the pressure of the Crees upon them. 
The Crees, according to their own tradition, originally dwelt far east 
of the Red River, in Labrador and about Hudson Bay. They have 
gradually advanced westward to the inviting plains along the Red 
River, pushing the prior occupants before them by the sheer force of 
numbers. This will explain the deadly hostility which has always 
existed between the Crees and the Blackfeet. 

Father Lacombe, it should be stated, is disposed to question the 
fact of the former residence of the Blackfeet in the Red River country, 
on the ground that their own tradition seems to bring them from the 
opposite direction. " They affirm," he writes, " that they came from 
the southwest, across the mountains ; that is, from the direction of 
Oregon and Washington Territory. There were bloody conflicts be- 
tween the Blackfeet and the Nez Perces, as Bancroft relates, for the 
right of hunting on the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains." Mr. 
McLean, who mentions the former residence of the Blackfeet in the 
Red River region as an undoubted fact, also says, " It is supposed 
that the great ancestor of the Blackfeet came across the mountains." 
Here are two distinct and apparently conflicting traditions which call 
for further inquiry. One of the best tests of the truth of tradition is 
to be found in language. Applying this test in the present instance, 
we are led to some interesting conclusions. It has been seen that 
Mackenzie, to whom we owe our first knowledge of the Blackfoot 
tribes, declared that their language had no affinity with that of any 
other Indians whom he knew. He was well acquainted with the Crees 


and Ojibways, who speak dialects of the great Algonkin stock, but he 
recognized no connection between their speech and that of the Black- 
feet. Later inquirers, and at first even Gallatin himself (after study- 
ing a brief list of Blackfoot words), took the same view. Subsequent 
investigations satisfied that distinguished philologist that his first im- 
pressions were incorrect, and that the Blackfoot language really be- 
longed to the Algonkin stock. More recently the French missionaries 
have made the same discovery, " by studying," as M. Lacombe writes 
to me, " the grammatical rules of these languages." From the exten- 
sive comparative list of words and grammatical forms in the Black- 
foot, Cree, and Ojibway languages, with which he has favored me, it 
appears that while the Blackfoot is in its grammar purely Algonkin, 
many of the most common words in its vocabulary are totally differ- 
ent from the corresponding words in the Algonkin tongues. Others 
which are found, on careful examination, to be radically the same as 
the corresponding Algonkin terms, are so changed and distorted that 
the resemblance is not at first apparent. These facts admit of but one 
explanation. They are the precise phenomena to which we are accus- 
tomed in the case of mixed languages. In such languages (of which 
our English speech is a notable example), we expect the grammar to 
be derived entirely from one source, while the words will be drawn 
from two or more. Furthermore, wherever we find a mixed language, 
we infer a conquest of one people by another. In the present instance, 
we may well suppose that when the Blackfoot tribes were forced west- 
ward from the Red River country to the foot of the Rocky Mountains, 
they did not find their new abode uninhabited. It is probable enough 
that the people whom they found in possession had come through the 
passes from the country west of those mountains. If these people were 
overcome by the Blackfeet, and their women taken as wives by the 
conquerors, two results would be likely to follow. In the first place, 
the language would become a mixed speech, in grammar purely Al- 
gonkin, but in the vocabulary largely recruited from the speech of 
the conquered tribe. A change in the character of the amalgamated 
people would also take place. The result of this change might be 
better inferred if we knew the characteristics of both the constituent 
races. But it may be said that a frequent if not a general result of 
such a mixture of races is the production of a people of superior intel- 
ligence and force of character. 

The religion of these tribes (applying this term to their combined 
mythology and worship) resembles the language. It is in the main 
Algonkin, but includes some beliefs and ceremonies derived from some 
other source. In their view, as in that of the Ojibways, the Dela- 
wares, and other Algonkin nations, there were two creations the pri- 
mary, which called the world into existence, and the secondary, which 
found the world an expanse of sea and sky (with, it would seem, a few 
animals disporting themselves therein), and left it in its present state. 


The primitive creation is attributed to a superior divinity, whom they 
call the Creator {Apistotokin) , and sometimes identify with the sun. 
After this divinity of whom their ideas are very vague had created 
the watery expanse, another deity, with the aid of four animals, of 
which the muskrat was the chief, brought some earth from the bottom 
of the abyss, expanded it to the present continent, and peopled it with 
human beings. This deity is commonly styled by them the " Old 
Man " (JYapiw), a name implying, as used by them, a feeling of affec- 
tionate admiration. He is represented as a powerful but tricksy spirit, 
half Jupiter and half Mercury. " He appears," writes M. Lacombe, " in 
many other traditions and legendary accounts, in which he is associ- 
ated with the various kinds of animals, speaking to them, making use 
of them, and especially cheating them, and playing every kind of 
trick." In this being we recognize at once the most genuine and 
characteristic of all the Algonkin divinities. In every tribe of this 
wide-spread family, from Nova Scotia to Virginia, and from the Dela- 
ware to the Rocky Mountains, he reappears under various names 
Manabozho, Michabo, Wetuks, Glooskap, Wisaketjak, Napiw but 
everywhere with the same traits and the same history. He is at once 
a creator, a defender, a teacher, and at the same time a conqueror, a 
robber, and a deceiver. But the robbery and deceit, it would seem, 
are usually for some good purpose. He preserves mankind from their 
enemies, and uses the arts of these enemies to circumvent and destroy 
them. In Longfellow's charming poem, he is confounded with the 
Iroquois hero, Hiawatha. In Dr. Brinton's view, his origin is to 
be found in a Nature - myth, representing " on the one hand the 
unceasing struggle of day with night, light with darkness, and on 
the other that no less important conflict which is ever waging be- 
tween the storm and sunshine, the winter and summer, the rain and 
clear sky." 

Napiw, the " Old Man," has, it seems, other names in the Blackfoot 
tongue. He is known as Kenakatsis, "he who wears a wolf -skin 
robe," and Mik-orkayew, "he who wears a red-painted buffalo-robe." 
These names have probably some reference to legends of which he is 
the hero. The name of the Creator, Apistotokin, as explained by M. 
Lacombe, affords a good example of the subtile grammatical distinc- 
tions which abound in the Siksika, as in other Algonkin tongues. The 
expression "he makes," which, like other verbal forms, may be used 
as a noun, can be rendered in four forms, of varied shades of meaning : 
Apistototsim signifies "he makes," or "he who makes," when the 
complement, or thing made, is expressed, and is an inanimate object. 
Apistotoyeio is used when the expressed object is animate. ApistotaJciw 
is the indefinite form, used when the complement, or thing made, is 
not expressed, but is understood to be inanimate ; and, finally, Apis- 
totokin, the word in question, is employed when the unexpressed object 
is supposed to be animate. By this analysis we gain the unexpected 

VOL. XXIX. 14 


information that the world, as first created, was in the view of the 
Blackfoot cosmologists an animated existence. 

But while these beliefs are all purely Algonkin, the chief religious 
ceremony of the Blackfoot tribes is certainly of foreign origin. This 
is the famous " Sun-dance," to which they, like the Dakota tribes and 
some of the Western Crees, are fanatically devoted. That this cere- 
mony is not properly Algonkin is clearly shown by the fact that 
among the tribes of that stock, with the exception of the Blackfeet 
and a few of the Western Crees, it is unknown. Neither the Ojibways 
of the Lakes, nor any of the tribes east of the Mississippi, had in their 
worship a trace of this extraordinary rite. The late eminent mis- 
sionary among the Dakotas, the Rev. Stephen R. Riggs (author of the 
"Dakota Grammar and Dictionary"), says of this ceremony: "The 
highest form of sacrifice is self-immolation. It exists in the Sun- 
dance, and is what is called "vision-seeking." Some, passing a knife 
under the muscles of the breast and arms, attach cords thereto, which 
are fastened at the other end to the top of a tall pole, raised for the 
purpose ; and thus they hang suspended only by those cords, without 
food or drink, for two, three, or four days, gazing upon vacancy, their 
minds intently fixed upon the object in which they wish to be assisted 
by the deity, and waiting for a vision from above. Others, making 
incisions in the back, have attached, by hair ropes, one or more buffalo- 
heads, so that every time the body moves in the dance, a jerk is given 
to the buffalo-heads behind. The rite exists at present among the 
western bands of the Dakotas in the greatest barbarity. After mak- 
ing the cuttings in the arms, breast, or back, wooden setons sticks 
about the size of a lead-pencil are inserted, and the ropes are attached 
to them. Then, swinging on the ropes, they pull until the setons are 
pulled out with the flesh and tendons ; or, if hung with buffalo-heads, 
the pulling is done in the dance, by successive jerks, keeping time 
with the music, while the head and body, in an attitude of supplica- 
tion, face the sun, and the eye is unflinchingly fixed upon it." 

A letter from the Rev. Mr. McLean furnishes a detailed and 
graphic account of this ceremony, as he witnessed it in June last, 
when most of the Kena or Blood Indians were present as actors or 
spectators. His narrative is too long for insertion here, but the con- 
cluding portion will show the resolute constancy with which this 
sacrifice of self-immolation is performed some new features being 
added which are not comprised in Mr. Riggs's brief account, and pos- 
sibly are not found among the Dakotas : 

" This year, several persons, young and old, who had made vows 
during times of sickness or danger, had a finger cut off at the first 
joint, as an offering to the sun ; and others had the operation of cut- 
ting their breasts and backs. The old woman who cut the fingers off 
held the suppliant's hand up to the sun, and prayed then placed it 
upon a pole on the ground, laid a knife on the finger, and with a blow 


from a deer-horn scraper severed the member. The severed piece was 
taken up, held toward the sun, and the prayer made, when it was 
dropped into a bag containing similar members. This ceremony was 
gone through with each in turn. After this was done, each carried 
an offering, and climbing the sacrificial pole, with the face reverently 
turned toward the sun, placed the offering on the top of the pole. 
This year seven or eight persons went through the above ceremony. 
The other sacrificial ceremony consisted of the slitting of the flesh, in 
two pieces in each breast. A wooden skewer was thrust through each 
breast, a rope fastened to the sacrificial pole was placed around each 
skewer, and then the suppliant whistling all the time upon the bone 
whistle jumped about until the flesh gave way. In some instances 
the flesh was cut so deeply that two men had to press upon the per- 
former's shoulders in order to tear it away. The ' shield ceremony ' 
was the same process, only performed on the back, and the rope with 
a shield attached fastened to the skewers, and the ceremony continued 
until the suppliant was released." 

Mr. Riggs, it will be noticed, says that the ceremony was most 
zealously performed among the most westerly of the Dakota tribes, 
that is, those w T hich are nearest to the Rocky Mountains and to the 
Blackfeet. Possibly the Blackfeet may have learned the rite from 
the tribe from which they acquired the foreign element of their lan- 
guage, and may have taught it to the Western Dakotas and Crees. 
In any case, it is clear that they have a mixed religion as w r ell as a 
mixed language which are both facts of considerable interest in 
ethnological science. 

The form of government among the Blackfeet, as among the Al- 
gonkin tribes generally, is exceedingly simple, offering a striking con- 
trast to the elaborately complicated system common among the nations 
of the Iroquois stock. Each tribe has a head chief, and each of the 
bands composing the tribe has its subordinate chief ; but the authority 
of these chiefs is little more than nominal. The office is not hereditary, 
the bravest or richest being usually chosen. The term " confederacy," 
commonly applied to the union of the Blackfoot tribes, is somewhat 
misleading. There is no regular league or constitution binding them 
together. " They consider themselves," writes M. Lacombe, " as form- 
ing one family, whose three branches or bands are descended from 
three brothers. This bond of kinship is sufficient to preserve a good 
understanding among them." They can hardly be said to have a gen- 
eral name for their whole community, though they sometimes speak of 
themselves as Sawketapix, or "Men of the Plains," and occasionally as 
Netsepoye, or " People who speak one language." 

The facts thus derived from the best authorities concerning this 
interesting people suggest some important conclusions. The opinion, 
still entertained by many, of the impossibility of bringing the nomadic 
Indians or at least the grown-up people under the restraints of civ- 


ilization, has certainly not proved correct in this case, where we see a 
large body of wandering hunters converted within three years into a 
community of industrious and successful farmers. If it be said that 
the Blackfeet are, to some extent, an exceptional people, we are led to 
inquire into the origin of their superiority ; and we can find no other 
cause than the fact that they are evidently a people of mixed race. 
As the Chilians, who are of mingled Spanish and Araucanian origin, 
are taking the lead among; the nations of South America as the Fee- 
jeeans, who are of mixed Polynesian and Alelanesian race, are fore- 
most in mental vigor among the islanders of the South Pacific so it 
would seem that the Blackfeet may owe their unusual capacity for 
improvement to a like cause. Instead of holding the melancholy be- 
lief which was common a few years ago but which science is now 
repudiating that Mature is opposed to a mingling of the human races, 
we may find in such evidences reason to believe that Nature is prepar- 
ing to produce, by a commixture of the most opposite races, the most 
progressive, and possibly the predominant, race of the future. 



IT is now nearly seventy years since the first student of our fishes 
crossed the Falls of the Ohio and stood on Indiana soil. He came 
on foot, with a note-book in one hand and a hickory stick in the other, 
and his capacious pockets were full of wild flowers, shells, and toads. 
His mantle (since fallen upon me) was " a long, loose coat of yellow 
nankeen, stained yellower by the clay of the roads, and variegated by 
the juices of plants." In short, in all respects of dress, manners, and 
appearance, he would be described by the modern name of " tramp." 

Nevertheless, no more remarkable figure has ever appeared in the 
annals of science or in the annals of Indiana. To me it has always 
possessed a peculiar interest, and so, for a few moments, I wish to call 
up before you the figure of Rafinesque, with his yellow nankeen coat, 
"his sharp, tanned face, and his bundle of plants, under which a ped- 
dler would groan," before it wholly recedes into the shadows of ob- 

Coxstaxtixe Samuel Rafinesque was born in Constantinople, in 
the year 1784. His father was a French merchant from Marseilles 
doing business in Constantinople, and his mother was a German girl 
born in Greece, of the family name of Schmaltz. Rafinesque himself, 
son of a Franco-Turkish father and a Grseco-German mother, was an 

Before he was a year old his life-long travels began, his parents 
* Read before the Indiana Academy of Sciences, December 30, 1885. 


visiting ports of Asia and Africa on their way to Marseilles. As a 
result of this trip, we have the discovery, afterward duly announced 
by him to the world, that "infants are not subject to sea-sickness." 

At Marseilles his future career was determined for him ; or, in his 
own language : " It was among the flowers and fruits of that delight- 
ful region that I first began to enjoy life, and I became a botanist. 
Afterward, the first prize I received in school was a book of animals, 
and I am become a zoologist and a naturalist. My early voyage made 
me a traveler. Thus, some accidents or early events have an influ- 
ence on our fate through life, or unfold our inclinations." * 

Rafinesque now read books of travel, those of Captain Cook, Le 
Vaillant, and Pallas especially, and his soul was fired with the desire 
" to be a great traveler like them. . . . And I became such," he adds 
shortly. At the age of eleven he had begun an herbarium, and had 
learned to read the Latin in which scientific books of the last century 
were written. " I never was in a regular college," he says, " nor lost 
my time on dead languages, but I spent it in reading alone, and by 
reading: ten times more than is read in the schools. I have undertaken 
to read the Latin and Greek, as well as the Hebrew, Sanskrit, Chinese, 
and fifty other languages, as I felt the need or inclination to study 

At the age of twelve he published his first scientific paper, "Notes 
on the Apennines," as seen from the back of a mule on a journey from 
Leghorn to Genoa. Rafinesque was now old enough to choose his 
calling in life, and he decided to become a merchant, for, said he, 
" commerce and travel are linked." At this time came the first out- 
breaks of the French Revolution, and the peasants of Provence began 
to dream of " castles on fire and castles combustible," so Rafinesque's 
prudent father sent his money out of France and his two sons to 

In Philadelphia Constantine Rafinesque became a merchant's clerk, 
and his spare time was devoted to the study of botany. He tried also 
to study the birds, but he says, " The first bird I shot was a poor chick- 
adee, whose death appeared a cruelty, and I never became much of 
a hunter." During his vacations Rafinesque traveled on foot over 
parts of Pennsylvania and Virginia. He visited President Jefferson, 
who, he tells us, asked him to call again. In 1805, receiving an offer 
of business in Sicily, Rafinesque returned to Europe. He spent ten 
years in Sicily, the land, as he sums it up, " of fruitful soil, delightful 
climate, excellent productions, perfidious men, and deceitful women." 
Here in Sicily he discovered the medicinal squill, which, aided by 
the equally medicinal paregoric, was once the chief delight of child- 
hood. He commenced gathering this in large quantities for shipment 

* This and most of the other rerbal quotations in this paper are taken from an " Au- 
tobiography of Rafinesque," of which a copy exists in the Library of Congress. A few 
quotations have been somewhat abridged. 


to England and Russia. The Sicilians thought that he was using it 
as a dye-stuff, and this, said he, "I let them believe." Nearly two 
hundred thousand pounds had been shipped by him before the secret 
of the trade was discovered, since which time the Sicilians have prose- 
cuted the business on their own account, lie began to turn his atten- 
tion to the animals of the sea, and here arose his passion for iehthyol- 
;v. All the red-shirted Sicilian fishermen brought to him the strange 
creatures which came in their nets. In 1810 he published two works 
on the fishes of Sicily, and for our first knowledge of very many of 
the Mediterranean lishes we are indebted to these Sicilian papers of 

It is unfortunately true, however, that very little real <rain to sci- 
ence has come through this knowledge. Rafinesque's descriptions in 
these works are so brief, so hastv, and so often drawn from memory, 
that later naturalists have been put to great trouble in trying to make 
them out. A peculiar, restless, impatient enthusiasm is characteristic 
of all his writings, the ardor of the explorer without the patience of 
the investigator.* 

In Sicily, Rafinesque was visited by the English ornithologist. 
William Swainson. Swainson seems to have been a great admirer of 
"the eccentric naturalist,"' and of him Rafinesque says: "Swainson 
often went with me to the mountains. He carried a butterfly-net to 
catch insects with, and was taken for a crazv man or a wizard. As he 
hardly spoke Italian, I had once to save him from being stoned out of a 
field, where he was thought to seek a treasure buried by the Greeks. " 
Rafinesque now invented a new way of distilling brandy. He es- 
tablished a brandy-distillery, where, said he, "I made a very good 
brandy, equal to any made in Spain, without ever tasting a drop of it, 
since I hate all strong liquors. This prevented me from relishing this 
new employment, and so I gave it up after a time." 

Finally, disgust with the Sicilians, and fear of the French wars, 
caused Rafinesque, who was, as he says. u a peaceful man,'' to look 
a^ain toward the United States. In 1815 he sailed again for Amer- 
ica, with all his worldly goods, his reams of unpublished manuscripts, 
his bushels of shells, and a multitude of drawings of objects in natural 
historv. According to his own account, the extent of his collections 
at that time was enormous, and from the great number of scattered 
treatises on all manner of subjects which he published in later years, 
whenever he could get them printed, it is fair to suppose that his 
pile of manuscripts was equally great. A considerable number of his 
note-books, and of papers for which, fortunately for scientific nomen- 
clature, he failed to find a publisher, are now preserved in the United 
States National Museum. These manuscripts are remarkable for two 

* Dr. Elliott Coues has wittily suggested that as the words M grotesque" " pictaKftpe,' 1 

and the like, are used to designate certain literary styles, the adjective " rafiTiesquc " 
may be similarly employed for work like that of the author now under consideration. 


things the beauty of the quaint French penmanship and the atrocious 
badness of -the accompanying drawings. 

His numerous note-books, written in French, represent each the 
observations of a busy summer, and these observations, for the most 
part unchecked by the comparison of specimens, were by him pre- 
pared for the press during the winter. To this manner of working, 
perhaps unavoidable in his case, many of Rafinesque's errors and 
blunders are certainly due. In one of these note-books I find, among a 
series of notes in French, the following remarkable observation in Eng- 
lish : " The girls at Fort Edward eat clay ! " In another place I find 
a list of the new genera of fishes in Cuvier's "Regne Animal " (1817) 
which were known to him. Many of these are designated as synony- 
mous with genera proposed by Rafinesque in his " Caratteri" in 1810. 
With this list is the remark that these genera of Cuvier are identical 
with such and such genera "proposed by me in 1810, but don't you 
tell it ! " 

Rafinesque was six months on the ocean in this second voyage to 
America ; and finally, just as the ship was entering Long Island Sound, 
the pilot let her drift against one of the rocks which lie outside of the 
harbor of New London. The vessel filled and sank, giving the pas- 
sengers barely time to escape with their lives. " I reached New Lon- 
don at midnight," says Rafinesque, " in a most deplorable situation. 
I had lost everything my fortune, my share in the cargo, my collec- 
tions and labors of twenty years past, my books, my manuscripts, and 
even my clothes all I possessed, except some scattered funds and 
some little insurance-money. Some hearts of stone have since dared 
to doubt of these facts, or rejoice at my losses. Yes, I have found 
men vile enough to laugh without shame at my misfortunes, instead of 
condoling with me. But I have met also with friends who have de- 
plored my loss and helped me in need." 

I shall pass rapidly over Rafinesque's career until his settlement in 
Kentucky. He traveled widely in America, in the summer, always 
on foot. " Horses were offered to me," he said, " but I never liked 
riding them, and dismounting for every flower. Horses do not suit 
botanists." He now came westward, following the course of the 
Ohio, and exploring for the first time the botany of the country. He 
came to Indiana, and for a short time was associated with the com- 
munity then lately established by Owen and Maclure at New Har- 
mony, on the Wabash. Though this New Harmony experiment was 
a failure, as all communities must be in which the drone and the 
worker alike have access to the honey-cells, yet the debt due it from 
American science is very great. Although far in the backwoods, and 
in the long notorious county of Posey, New Harmony was for a time 
fairly to be called the center of American science, and even after half 
a century has gone by its rolls bear few names brighter than those of 
Thomas Say, David Dale Owen, and Charles Le Sueur. 


Rafinesque soon left New Harmony, and became Professor of Nat- 
ural History and the Modern Languages in Transylvania University, 
at Lexington, Kentucky. He was, I believe, the very first teacher of 
natural history in the West, and his experiences were not more cheer- 
ful than those of most pioneers. They would not give him at Lexing- 
ton the degree of Master of Arts, he says, " because I had not studied 
Greek in a college, although I knew more languages than all the 
American colleges united, but it was granted at last ; but that of Doc- 
tor of Medicine was not granted, because I would not superintend an- 
atomical dissections. 

"Mr. Holley, the president of the university, despised and hated 
the natural sciences, and he wished to drive me out altogether. To 
evince his hatred against science and its discoveries, he had broken 
open my rooms in my absence, given one to the students, and thrown 
all my effects, books, and collections, into the other. He had deprived 
me of my situation as librarian, and tried to turn me out of the col- 
lege. I took lodgings in town," said he, " and carried there all my 
effects, leaving the college with curses both on it and Holley, which 
reached them both soon after, for Holley died of the yellow fever in 
New Orleans, and the college was burned with all its contents." 

In one of his summer trips Rafinesque became acquainted with 
Audubon, who was then painting birds and keeping a little " grocery- 
store " down the river, at Hendersonville, Kentucky. Rafinesque 
reached Hendersonville in a boat, carrying on his back a bundle of 
plants which resembled dried clover. He accidentally met Audubon, 
and asked him to tell him where the naturalist lived. The ornithol- 
ogist introduced himself, and Rafinesque handed him a letter from a 
friend in the East, commending him to Audubon as an "odd fish, 
which might not be described in the published treatises." The story 
of the interview is thus described by Audubon : " His attire struck me 
as exceedingly remarkable. A long, loose coat of yellow nankeen, 
much the worse for the many rubs it had got in its time, hung about 
him loosely, like a sack. A waistcoat of the same, with enormous 
pockets and buttoned up to the chin, reached below over a pair of 
tight pantaloons, the lower part of w T hich was buttoned down over 
his ankles. His beard was long, and his lank black hair hung loosely 
over his shoulders. His forehead was broad and prominent, indicat- 
ing a mind of strong power. His words impressed an assurance of 
rigid truth, and as he directed the conversation to the natural sciences, 
I Hstened to him with great delight. 

" That night, after we were all abed, I heard of a sudden a great 
uproar in the naturalist's room. I got up and opened the door, when 
to my astonishment I saw my guest running naked, holding the han- 
dle of my favorite violin, the body of which he had battered to pieces 
in attempting to kill the bats which had entered the open window ! I 
stood amazed, but he continued jumping and running around and 


around till he was fairly exhausted, when he begged me to procure 
one of the animals for him, as he felt convinced that they belonged 
to a new species. Although I was convinced of the contrary, I took 
up the bow of my demolished violin, and giving a smart tip to each bat 
as it came up, we soon had specimens enough." 

A part of the story of this visit, which Audubon does not tell, may 
be briefly related here : Audubon was a great artist, and his paintings 
of birds and flowers excited the wonder and admiration of Rafinesque, 
as it has that of the generations since his time. But Audubon was 
something of a wag withal, and some spirit of mischief led him to 
revenge the loss of his violin on the too ready credulity of his guest. 
He showed him gravely some ten grotesque drawings of impossible 
fishes which he had observed " down the river," with notes on their 
habits, and a list of the names by which they were known by the 
French and the English settlers. These Rafinesque duly copied into 
his note-books, and later he published descriptions of them as repre- 
sentatives of new genera, such as Pogostoma, Aplocentrus, J^itholepis, 
PilodictiSy and the like. 

These singular genera, so like and yet so unlike to anything yet 
known, have been a standing puzzle to students of fishes. Various 
attempts at identification of them have been made, but in no case have 
satisfactory results been reached. Many of the hard things which have 
been said of Rafinesque's work rest on these unlucky genera, " com- 
municated to me by Mr. Audubon." The true story of this practical 
joke was told me by the venerable Dr. Kirtland, who in turn received 
it from Dr. Bachman, the brother-in-law and scientific associate of 
Audubon. In the private note-books of Rafinesque I have since found 
his copies of these drawings, and a glance at these is sufficient to show 
the extent to which science through him has been victimized. 

About this time Rafinesque turned his mind again toward inven- 
tion. He invented the present arrangement of coupon bonds, or, as 
he called it, " the divitial invention." Savings-banks were projected 
by him, as well as "steam plows," "aquatic railroads," fire-proof 
houses, and other contrivances which he was unable to perfect. He 
took much delight in the study of the customs and languages of the 
Indians. In so doing, if the stories are true, he became, in a meas- 
ure, one of the ancestors of Mormonism ; for it is said that his sug- 
gestion that the Indians came from Asia by way of Siberia, and were 
perhaps the descendants of the ten lost tribes of Israel, gave the first 
suggestion to Solomon Spalding, on which he built his book of the 
prophet Mormon. In any case, whether this be true or not, it is cer- 
tain that Rafinesque is still cited as high authority by the Latter- 
day Saints when the genuineness of the book of Mormon is questioned. 

Rafinesque now returned to Philadelphia and published " The At- 
lantic Journal and Friend of Knowledge," "Annals of Nature," and 
other serials, of which he was editor, publisher, and usually sole con- 


tributor. After a time he became sole subscriber also, a condition of 
affairs which greatly exasperated him against the Americans and their 
want of appreciation of science. He published several historic treatises, 
and contemplated a " Complete History of the Globe," with all its con- 
tents. An elaborate poem of his, dreary enough, is entitled "The 
World, or Instability." He made many enemies among the American 
botanists of his time by his overbearing ways, his scorn of their cus- 
toms and traditions, and especially by his advocacy of crude and undi- 
gested though necessary reforms, so that at last most of them decided 
to ignore his very existence. In those days, in matters of classification, 
the rule of Linnaeus was supreme, and any attempt to recast his arti- 
ficial groupings was looked at as heretical in the extreme. The attempt 
at a natural classification of plants, which has made the fame of Jus- 
sieu, had the full sympathy of Rafinesque, but to his American con- 
temporaries such work could lead only to confusion. Then, again, in 
some few of its phases, Rafinesque anticipated the modern doctrine of 
the origin of species. That the related species of such genera as Mosa, 
Quercus, Trifolium have had a common origin, a view the correctness 
of which no well-informed botanist of our day can possibly doubt, 
Rafinesque then maintained against the combined indignation and dis- 
gust of all his fellow- workers. His writings on these subjects read 
better to-day than when, forty -five years ago, they were sharply re- 
viewed by one of our then young and promising botanists, Dr. Asa 

But the botanists had good reason to complain of the application 
of his theories of evolution. To Rafinesque, the production of a new 
species was a rapid process a hundred years was time enough and, 
when he saw the tendency in diverging varieties toward the formation 
of new species, he was eager to anticipate Nature (and his fellow-botan- 
ists as well), and give it a new name. He became a sort of mono- 
maniac on the subject of new species. He was uncontrolled in this 
matter by the influence of other writers, that incredulous conservatism 
as to one another's discoveries which furnishes a salutary balance to 
enthusiastic workers. Before his death, so much had he seen, and so 
little had he compared, that he had described certainly twice as many 
fishes, and probably nearly twice as many plants and shells, also, as 
really existed in the regions over which he traveled. He once sent for 
publication a paper describing, in regular natural history style, twelve 
new species of thunder and lightning which he had observed near the 
Falls of the Ohio ! 

Then, too, Rafinesque studied in the field, collecting and observing 
in the summer, comparing and writing in the winter. When one is 
chasing a frog in a canebrake, or climbing a cliff in search of a rare 
flower, he can not have a library and a museum at his back. The ex- 
act work of our modern museums and laboratories was almost un- 
known in his day. Then, again, he depended too much on his memory 


for facts and details, and, as Professor Agassiz used to say, " the mem- 
ory must not be kept too full, or it will spill over." 

Thus it came about that the name and work of Rafinesque fell into 
unmerited neglect. His writings, scattered here and there in small 
pamphlets, cheap editions published at his own expense, had been sold 
as paper-rags, or used to kindle fires by those to whom they were sent, 
and later authors could not find them. His " Ichthyologia Ohioensis," 
once sold for a dollar, is now quoted at fifty dollars, and the present 
writer has seen but two copies of it. In the absence of means to form 
a just opinion of his work, it became the habit to pass him by with a 
sneer, as the "inspired idiot" " whose fertile imagination has peopled 
the waters of the Ohio." 

Until lately, only Professor Agassiz * has said a word in mitigation 
of the harsh verdict passed on Rafinesque by his fellow-workers and 
their immediate successors. Agassiz says, very justly : "I am satisfied 
that Rafinesque was a better man than he appeared. His misfortune 
was his prurient desire for novelties, and his rashness in publishing 
them. . . . Tracing his course as a naturalist during his residence in 
this country, it is plain that he alarmed those with whom he had in- 
tercourse, by his innovations, and that they preferred to lean upon the 
authority of the great naturalist of the age [Cuvier], who, however, 
knew little of the special history of the country, rather than to trust 
a somewhat hasty man who was living among them, and who had col- 
lected a vast amount of information from all parts of the States upon 
a variety of subjects then entirely new to science." f 

In a sketch of " A Neglected Naturalist," Professor Herbert E. 
Copeland has said : " To many of our untiring naturalists, who sixty 
years ago accepted the perils and privations. of the far West, to col- 
lect and describe i^Taninials and plants, we have given the only reward 
they sought, a grateful remembrance of their work. Audubon died 
full of riches and honor, with the knowledge that his memory should 
be cherished as long as birds should sing. Wilson is the ' father of 
American ornithology,' and his mistakes and faults are forgotten in 
our admiration of his great- achievements. Le Sueur is remembered as 
the ' first to explore the ichthyology of the great American lakes.' 
Laboring with these, and greatest of them all in respect to the extent 
and range of his accomplishments, is one whose name has been nearly 
forgotten, and who is oftenest mentioned in the field of his best labors 
with pity or contempt." J 

It is doubtless true ; while, as Professor Agassiz has said, Rafi- 

* So early as 1844, Professor Agassiz wrote to Charles Lucien Bonaparte: "I think 
that there is a justice due to Rafinesque. However poor his descriptions, he first recog- 
nized the necessity of multiplying genera in ichthyology, and this at a time when the thing 
was far more difficult than now." 

f Agassiz, "American Journal of Science and Arts," 1854, p. 354. 

+ " A -nerican Naturalist," 1876. 


nesque "was a better man than he appeared," and while he was un- 
doubtedly a man of great learning and of greater energy, his work 
does not deserve a high place in the records of science. And his fail- 
ure seems due to two influences : first, his lack of attention to details, 
a defect which has vitiated all of his work ; and, second, his versatility, 
which led him to attempt work in every field of learning. 

As to this, he says himself : " It is a positive fact that in knowledge 
I have been a botanist, naturalist, geologist, geographer, historian, 
poet, philosopher, philologist, economist, philanthropist. By profes- 
sion a traveler, merchant, manufacturer, brewer, collector, improver, 
teacher, surveyor, draughtsman, architect, engineer, palmist, author, 
editor, bookseller, librarian, secretary, and I hardly know what I may 
not become as yet, since, whenever I apply myself to anything which 
I like, I never fail to succeed, if depending on myself alone, unless im- 
peded or prevented by the lack of means, or the hostility of the foes 
of mankind." 

" The one prudence in life," says Emerson, " is concentration ; the 
one evil, dissipation." 

But a traveler Rafinesque chiefly considered himself, and to him 
all his pursuits, scientific, linguistic, historic, were but episodes in a 
life of travel. Two lines of doggerel French were his motto : 

" Un voyageur des le berceau, 
Je le serai jusqu 1 au toinbeau." 

"A traveler from the cradle, 
I'm a traveler to the tomb." 

Long before the invention of railroads and steamboats, he had 
traveled over most of Southern Europe and Eastern North America. 
Without money except as he earned it, he had gathered shells and 
plants and fishes on every shore from the Hellespont to the Wabash. 
He was the frontiersman of our natural history, the Daniel Boone of 
American science. 

Concerning one element of Rafinesque's character I am able to 
find no record. If he ever loved any man or woman, except as a pos- 
sible patron and therefore aid to his schemes of travel, he himself 
gives no record of it. He speaks kindly of Audubon, but Audubon 
had furnished him with specimens and paintings of flowers and fishes. 
He speaks generously of Clifford, at Lexington, but Clifford had given 
him an asylum when he was turned out of Transylvania University. 
No woman is mentioned in his autobiography except his mother and 
sister, and these but briefly. His own travels, discoveries, and publi- 
cations, filled his whole mind and soul. 

Rafinesque died in Philadelphia, in 1840, at the age of fifty-six. 
He had been living obscurely in miserable lodgings in an unfriendly 
garret, for his dried plants, and his books published at his own expense, 
brought him but a scanty income. His scientific reputation had not 


reached his fellow-lodgers, and his landlord thought him " a crazy herb- 
doctor." He died alone, and left no salable assets, and his landlord 
refused to allow his friends such friends as he had to enter the house 
to give him a decent burial. He wished to make good the unpaid rent 
by selling the body to a medical college. But at night, so the story 
goes, a physician who had studied botany with Rafinesque got a few 
friends together, and broke into the garret and carried away the body, 
which they buried in a little churchyard outside the town, now oblit- 
erated by the growth of Philadelphia. 

American naturalists have greater honor now than forty years ago. 
Rafinesque died unnoticed and was buried only by stealth. A whole 
nation wept for Agassiz. But a difference was in the men as well as 
in the times. Both were great naturalists and learned men. Both had 
left high reputations in Europe to cast their lot with America. Agas- 
siz's great heart went out toward every one with whom he came in con- 
tact. But Rafinesque loved no man or woman, and died, as he had 
lived, alone. 

If some loving hand had followed him to the last, it might have 
been with Rafinesque as with Albrecht Durer : " ' ErnigraviV is the 
inscription on the headstone where he lies." But there was no such 
hand, and there is neither headstone nor inscription, and we know not 
even the place where he rests after his long journey. 



Br Professor W. PREYER, 


AT first sight the superscription, " counting unconsciously," seems 
to contain a contradiction. For, whoever counts from one to 
one hundred, realizes at each number, that he is counting ; yet, in 
truth, there are so many instances where an educated person counts 
without realizing it, that he would feel utterly lost in this world should 
this faculty be suddenly taken from him. 

Three coins being placed on a table, any one will, on being asked, 
"How many are there?" answer, after but a glance, "Three." Even 
when four or five coins are seen but for a moment, the answer as to 
their number will be correctly given. So quickly is the answer re- 
turned that no time can possibly have been taken for counting. 
Hence, it follows that counting unconsciously is really an every-day 
occurrence. The objection that this is no longer to be termed count- 
ing, is not valid ; for if any one can positively state that there are 
lying before him three, or four, or five objects, he must be able to dis- 
tinguish numbers ; and it is certainly a fact that one who can not 
count, can also not answer such questions. Children, in order to dis- 


tin<nrish three marbles from four, must first add each marble to the 
other in this way many learn to count before knowing the numerals. 
From this it follows that, in order to count, a knowledge of the nu- 
merals is not a necessity ; even untrained deaf-mutes, who can neither 
read nor write, are capable of counting, without figures, merely by the 
aid of their fingers. 

From the action of a child who has learned the meaning of the 
numerals, it furthermore follows that it is only by practice, that is by 
oft-repeated counting of actual objects, that surety is gained in the art 
of counting small numbers unconsciously. An idiot, or whoever does 
not practice, can not count three without adding one by one, and will 
never rise above the lowest plane of mental development. 

Now, however, as is well known, no one can tell in a moment how 
many objects are lying before him, provided the number of these 
objects is somewhat large approximates, say, fifty. Some persons can 
count more rapidly than others ; a broker's apprentice will make 
groups of three, of five, of ten coins, and then add the groups to- 
gether ; the experienced money-broker is able to determine in a few 
seconds what the amount is, and this, perhaps, without even touching 
the coins. But he too, as well as every one else, must count atten- 
tively as soon as the number of pieces exceeds a certain limit. But 
what is this limit ? 

Dase, the well-known calculator, who died in 1861, stated that he 
could distinguish some thirty objects of a similar nature in a single 
moment as easily as other people can recognize three or four, and his 
claim was often verified by tests. The rapidity with which he would 
name the number of sheep in a herd, of books in a book-case, of win- 
dow-panes in a large house, was even more remarkable than the accu- 
racy with which he solved mentally the most difficult problems. Not 
before or after his time has such perfection been attained ; but as 
every one possesses this faculty to a small extent, and as it can be im- 
proved by practice, it is not impossible that in future other experts in 
this line may appear. The only trouble is that so few know how easy 
it is to practice. 

In the first place, one can by a few trials readily gain the convic- 
tion that, without practice, not every one can distinguish six and seven 
objects as easily as three and four. 

In order to learn that it is a comparatively easy matter to estimate 
up to six and seven, and then up to nine, as correctly as from three to 
five, one need only make a few trials in guessing at an unknown num- 
ber of matches or pins that are concealed beneath a sheet of paper, 
and are then exposed to view but for a second. 

Great care must be exercised, however, that one does not con- 
sciously count in these attempts ; nor will it answer to attempt analy- 
sis from memory, after the objects are again hidden from view ; all 
this would consume too much time. It is, in fact, necessary to do 



nothing more than to estimate, but this must be done with the utmost 

Whoever has for any length of time tried seriously to guess cor- 
rectly will be surprised to find that his guesses will soon grow to be 
generally correct, whereas at the start they were often erroneous. 
Only when the number of objects seen exceeds nine will mistakes 
again occur more frequently. However, further practice in estimat- 
ing greater numbers of small objects will soon cause considerable 
improvement even here. Many, however, do not succeed in estimat- 
ing correctly beyond ten, probably because the attention is not suffi- 
ciently concentrated at the time, and as it is necessary, at the start at 
least, that one's whole attention be closely given ; only after having 
attained some degree of proficiency will the exercise of this power no 
longer prove fatiguing. 

In order to practice this kind of counting, dots and small circles 
were drawn on white paper squares. Some of these dots were arranged 
symmetrically, others were irregularly placed. These were glanced 
at for a moment, and proved of considerable aid in acquiring the art. 
A good deal depends on the arrangement of the dots. A card-player 


will immediately, and without stopping to count, realize that there are 
ten hearts on a ten-spot of that suit, but he will not be able to give as 
correctly the number of hearts or of dots if thesebe arranged, for in- 
stance, in the form of a cross. 

Hence it follows that it is not the symmetry of arrangement that 
facilitates the estimating, but acquaintance with the manner of arrange- 
ment used. 

It is more difficult to correctly estimate the number of dots ar- 
ranged in the form of a cross than to determine them if arranged as 
on cards and in similar ways. 

It is more easy to estimate the dots if arranged as on dominoes ; 
the dots must not be too small, and must be made a deep black on a 
white ground, or the reverse. 

The estimation of the number of dots is most difficult if they 
are grouped in an irregular manner, as, for instance, in the following 
figures : 

Practice, which is naught 

% but patient and correct repe- 

_ q 9 tition, will, however, even here 

# - make perfect. However, it 

$9 # may be regarded as proved by 

the case of Dase, before re- 
ferred to, that practice, how- 
ever long continued, can not aid beyond a certain limit. It seems that, 
for the rapid estimation or the unconscious counting of dots placed in 
unknown symmetrical arrangement, and for objects grouped into ir- 
regular forms, twenty is the limit. 

Probably already, when the number of the objects exceeds twenty 
undoubtedly, when it exceeds thirty accuracy in estimating can 
no longer be attained, even after the greatest amount of practice, in 
which Dase for one certainly was not wanting. 

However, this is not to say that more than thirty dots can not, 
under any circumstances, be simultaneously determined ; but in order 
that this may be done they must be presented in some well-known 
manner of arrangement, which must, as it were, have been fairly 
learned by heart. Thus, very skillful card and domino players are 
able at a glance to take in as many as forty points, in nines, tens, fives, 
sixes, etc. This they do so rapidly as not to be conscious of any addi- 
tion. Bat in such cases it is no longer the seeing of single dots, but 
seeing the pictures they form, which makes the feat possible. As no 
one on seeing the number 8 will count from one to eight, so no card- 
player will stop to count on seeing an eight of hearts, for instance. 
A child, however, not yet familiar with the appearance of cards, will 
count each heart separately, perhaps even touching each one in turn 
with his fingrer. 

In order to quickly attain the faculty of counting unconsciously, a 


book may be used to advantage. If one takes a book, opens the same 
the eyes to be kept closed in the mean time and then casts a rapid 
glance at a part of the page and tries to estimate how many lines are 
visible, this way of doing, if often repeated and always tried on dif- 
ferent pages, will soon conduce to great accuracy in estimating. A 
small child is not able to estimate even three lines correctly, though 
looking at them for fully a second. 

As the mind develops, it acquires a more simple and rapid process 
of counting. Something that at first had to be undertaken slowly 
and with care, perhaps in separate stages, may later on be accom- 
plished much more quickly and without requiring any special effort, 
or calling for any great amount of attention, in fact almost "me- 

One is fully conscious of every perfectly new impression received 
by the brain; hence the fascination of a novel idea. The more the 
charm of novelty fades with the recurrence of the same sensation, the 
less will consciousness be called into play. 

Counting from one upward, by constant repetition, finally comes 
to be done unconsciously, even as the quick movement of the fingers 
in practicing on the piano gradually becomes almost automatic, though 
at first this, too, required great care and attention. In all similar cases 
consciousness is no longer called into play. 

An impression that seemed most startling when first received may, 
if too often repeated, grow to be trivial. The simple work of count- 
ing finally comes to be an unconscious action of the nerve-fibers and 
cells of the brain. 

On newly built roads, the trains are run but slowly ; the longer 
such roads have been used, the more rapidly are trains run on them, 
and stops at way-stations are no longer needed ; it is even thus with 
the trains of thought in the human brain. 

And on this rests the practical importance of rapid counting. 
Whoever can, unconsciously but correctly, count up to twenty or even 
only up to twelve, has a great advantage over others who can not, 
without error, distinguish six from seven in this manner. For such a 
one can turn his consciousness to other matters and greatly increase 
his knowledge, where another would make but slow progress. 

Those movements in man, which take place through some impres- 
sion received from without and not aided by any conscious act of the 
brain (as, for instance, the contracting of the pupil when a bright 
light strikes the eye), are termed reflex actions. 

In part these are brought about by arbitrary but oft-repeated 
motions, inasmuch as such will gradually take place more rapidly and 
without premeditation. 

In this way, through practice, counting from one to five is done 
unconsciously, and somewhat resembles a reflex action. 

If many such simple mental acts (by the repetition of which noth- 

TOL. XXIX. 15 


ing new is learned, and time only is lost) could be caused to pass off 
more rapidly somewhat resembling reflex actions the brain would be 
left free to turn to other, to higher aims. Translated for the Popular 
Science Monthly from Die Gartenlaube. 




IN a recent number of " The Popular Science Monthly " Professor 
McElroy's brilliant essay on the cause and cure of feudalism was 
prefaced by a question which has, indeed, been but rarely investigated 
from a scientific point of view. The debasement of the noblest Cau- 
casian nations during the thousand years following the day when the 
power of Rome collapsed under the blows of the freedom-loving Goths 
seems certainly the most striking anomaly in the history of mankind. 
Yet would it have been well for those nations if their debasement had 
been confined to that loss of personal liberty which in pagan Greece 
and Rome followed the ascendency of a military despotism. But how 
shall we account for the fact that in mediaeval Europe that loss was 
accompanied by a general neglect of science and education, a general 
decadence of industry, and a wide-spread epidemic of monstrous super- 
stitions ? Thus supplemented, Professor McElroy's question expresses 
the great enigma of the middle ages an enigma which can not be 
wholly explained by the " adaptation of the horse to warfare and the 
development of defensive armor." 

The doctrine of evolution recognizes the fact that the development 
of social and physical organisms is not an unbroken march of progress. 
Advancement alternates with pauses, as day with night, or life with 
death ; the phenomena of progressive life roll through the cycles of 
germination, maturity, and decay. In the household of Nature every 
grave is a cradle ; the mold of every fallen tree furthers the growth of 
new trees. Grecian colonies flourished on the ruins of Troy, Persian 
provinces on the ruins of Babylon, Macedonian kingdoms on the grave 
of the Persian Empire ; Roman legionaries inherited the wealth and 
the culture of conquered Greece. The conquerors of Rome were the 
noblest, stoutest, and manliest races of the Caucasian world ; freemen, 
in love with health and Nature, yet withal with poetry, glory, honor, 
justice, and honest thrift. They planted their banners in the garden- 
lands of the West ; and their empires, gilt by the morning light of a 
new era, were founded under auspices far happier than those of the 
Arabian satrapies in the worn-out soil of the East. In less than five 
hundred years after the establishment of their political independence, 
the civilization of the Greeks, the Romans, and the Arabs, had de- 
veloped its fairest flowers industry, commercial activity, art, liberal 


education, flourishing schools of philosophy, poetry, and natural sci- 
ence. Five hundred years after the triumph of the Gothic conquerors 
we find their empires groaning under a concentration of all scourges. 
The day-star of civilization had set in utter night ; the proud nations 
of the West had sunk in poverty, bigotry, general ignorance, cruel 
abasement of the lower classes, squalid misery of domestic life, sys- 
tematic suppression of political, personal, and intellectual liberty. 

How shall we explain that dreadful aphanasia, that thousand years' 
eclipse of reason and freedom that followed like an unnatural night 
upon the brightest sunrise in the history of the human race ? A year 
after the death of the prophetess Sospitra, says the pagan historian 
Eunapius, her son was one day standing before the temple of Serapis, 
when the prophetic spirit of his mother fell upon him : " Woe be our 
children ! " he exclaimed, when he awakened from his trance ; " I 
see a cloud approaching : a great darkness will fall upon the human 

And, verily, that cloud did not come from Olympus or Mount Sinai. 
The law revealed in the " conservation of forces " holds good in many 
phenomena of the moral world. Every apparent annihilation of energy 
is only a metamorphosis of its manifestations, and we can often dis- 
cover the principle of that metamorphosis by ascertaining the active 
concomitants of its results. Just as mechanical force can be converted 
into heat, or heat into electricity, the energy diverted from rural pur- 
suits may assert itself in political, industrial, or scientific activity. The 
pent-up vigor of the middle ages had no such outlets. War, now a 
curse, was then a welcome, but limited, alternative of stagnation ; the 
lethargy of the dreary intervals was for millions a night without even 
the starlight of hope. Yet that strange torpor was accompanied by 
the feverish activity of a novel pursuit a relentless war against the 
instincts of Nature. The children of freedom-loving ancestors were 
imprisoned in convents, where bigotry and superstition conspired for 
the suppression of every natural feeling. Hordes of self -torturing 
fanatics roamed the land, appalling the wretched peasants by their 
direful predictions of approaching calamities. Fourteen different or- 
ders of monastic devotees vied in the systematic mortification of their 
natural desires, the depletion of their physical and intellectual vigor, 
the enforcement of health-destroying penances, and reason-insulting 
dogmas and ceremonies. While science withered to its very roots in 
the famished love of knowledge, the mania of antiphysics rioted in 
the production of thousands upon thousands of voluminous manu- 
scripts devoted to the propaganda of self-torture and self-abasement, 
and the glorification of Nature-insulting fanatics. Art worshiped at 
the same shrine. Painters exhausted their fancy in the representation 
of physical wrecks and ghastly tortures. Winckelmann estimates that 
hardly one in ten thousand of the plastic masterpieces of a Nature-lov- 
ing antiquity escaped the fury of the monastic iconoclasts. The war 


against Nature was carried into every branch of moral and mental 

Such doctrines did not fail to bear their fruit. Ignorance gloried 
in her indifference to the vanities of worldly science. Cruelty moral- 
ized on the duty of stifling the appeals to the law of Nature. Des- 
potism enforced the precepts of self-abasement and passive obedience. 
Indolence welcomed the dogma of renunciation. The suppressed love 
of natural science begat a chimera-brood of pseudo-sciences astrol- 
ogy, necromancy, alchemy, demonology, exorcism, thaumaturgism. 
Monkery and the neglect of rational agriculture conspired to turn 
garden-lands into deserts and freemen into serfs. The suppression of 
free inquiry begat hypocrisy and a mental sloth never equaled in the 
darkest ages of pagan barbarism. Freedom, driven from the open 
land, took refuge behind walled castles, and soon learned to make 
might the measure of right. Feudalism was the result, rather than 
the cause, of social degeneration. All the better instincts of the hu- 
man mind were either suppressed or perverted by the influence of a 
principle equally foreign to the philosophy of the pagan moralists and 
the ethics of the Semitic religions so foreign, that the attempt to 
amalgamate its doctrines with the manful monotheism of the Hebrew 
lawgiver is the chief cause of those mysterious inconsistencies which 
have so often frustrated the zeal of its propagandists : a benevolent 
Allfather, who yet frightfully and eternally tortures a vast plurality 
of his children ; a God-created earth, that must be renounced to avoid 
the wrath of its creator ; a godlike body, fit only to be despised and 

Yet that mystery was solved by the same key that unlocked the 
etymological riddles of the Aryan languages the study of the Hin- 
doo scriptures. As the Vedas elucidated the origin and development 
of the Indo-Germanic tongues, the sacred writings of Buddhism re- 
vealed the root-dogma that bore its logical fruit in self-torture and 
renunciation : the doctrine of the worthlessness of earthly existence, 
and the necessity of salvation by the suppression of all earthly desires. 
According to the gospel of Buddha Sakyamuni, not the abuse of life, 
but life itself, is an evil. All earthly blessings are curses in disguise. 
The beauty of earth is the snare of the Maya, a mirage luring its 
dupes from error to error toward grief and repentance. Only he who 
has lifted the veil of that delusion has entered the path of salvation. 
Total abstinence from the joys of life is the only cure for its ills, and 
the highest goal of the future is Nirvana peace and absolute deliver- 
ance from the vexations of earthly desires. 

In their progress from the banks of the Ganges to the shores of the 
Atlantic those doctrines underwent various mystifying modifications, 
and under the humanizing influence of pagan ethics Asceticism as- 
sumed a meaning akin to that of Stoicism frugality, self-control, vir- 
tuous preference of manly to effeminate pleasures. But, in the Ian- 


guage of the East-Grecian anchorites, Askesis meant simply endeavor, 
and that endeavor was an effort to tear the human mind from the 
roots of its earthly sympathies. The doctrines which his successors 
veiled in mystery, the hermit of Nepaul proclaimed with stern direct- 
ness : absolute abstinence from all pleasures whatever, complete sup- 
pression of all earthly instincts and desires. He who would hope to 
reach the goal of salvation must court sorrow and affliction as others 
woo the smiles of Fortune. He must avoid everything that could 
reconcile him to life and lure him back to the delusions of earthly pur- 
suits. He must despise worldly knowledge, the great object of life 
being the suppression of our natural inclinations, and, if possible, of 
our natural thoughts and feelings. He must have no fixed habitation, 
and must avoid sleeping twice under the same tree, lest an undue affec- 
tion for any earthly object should hinder his spirit in the progress of 
its emancipation from the vanities of life ! 

The question remains, How could delusions of that sort ever as- 
sume an epidemic form ? Upon which germ in the instincts of the 
human mind could the gospel of renunciation ingraft its monstrous 
dogmas ? There is a significant tradition that Buddha Sakyamuni en- 
tered upon his mission only after exhausting the pleasures of wealth 
and luxury. It is an equally suggestive circumstance that the chief 
success of that mission was attained among the most effete nations of 
the overpopulated East the Chinese, the Siamese, and the soul-sick 
pariahs of the Indian Peninsula. The doctrines of Buddhism recom- 
mended themselves to the pessimistic bias of a worn-out generation ; 
moribund Impotence pleased herself in the idea that her lot is prefer- 
able to that of the survivors. Anti-naturalism is an appeal to the life- 
weary instincts of decrepitude. 

In the evening twilight of life Nature relaxes the bonds of vitality, 
in order to reconcile her children to the prospects of the coming 
change. The weariness of a toilsome day sweetens the rest even of a 
dreamless sleep. To the germ of that instinct the doctrine of renun- 
ciation applies its fomenting stimulus. Quietism is a precocious senil- 
ity. It is the premature development of an instinct that should assert 
itself only as a concomitant of superannuation. Hence the antago- 
nism its dogmas encountered in the homes of health, hence the oppo- 
sition of pagan philosophy and the latent protestantism of all manly 
nations. Hence, its concomitance with disease and decrepitude, its 
popularity in the bond-house of Despotism, its revival in the world- 
renouncing zeal of caged criminals, worn-out sensualists, and superan- 
nuated coquettes. Hence, also, the unparalleled progress of mankind 
since the time when the sluice-gates of Asceticism were finally forced 
by the explosion of the Protestant Revolt. Like the floods of a dam- 
breaking river, the energies of the Caucasian race are rushing down 
the long-forsaken channels of their former activity, and in all essen- 
tial respects the triumphs of our boasted civilization have but followed 


the resumption of a work suspended when the workmen of antiquity 
were interrupted by the shadow of the great eclipse the millennium 
of ascetic insanity. 

The true significance of the anti-cosmic principle was first revealed 
by the analytical studies of Arthur Schopenhauer, whose conclusions 
were strikingly confirmed by the historical researches of Wassiljew, 
Barthelemy Saint-Hilaire, Beal, Rhys Davis, Hue, Burnouf, Kern, Las- 
sen, and Oldenberg. Like the doctrine of evolution, his theory met 
at first with obstinate opposition, but, like the doctrine of evolution, 
it will prevail by solving many riddles. 




IF there be a place in the kingdom in which a lecture on the subject 
selected for to-night could appropriately be given, surely it is the 
theatre in which we are assembled. Some of my hearers may be 
aware of the mutual fitness of subject and place. Many, perhaps, are 
not aware, as, indeed, was the case with myself three months ago, that 
the principles of fireplace construction which will be laid before you 
to-night, and which I have been working out and teaching for the last 
three or four years, were urged, written about, and acted upon at 
the end of the last century by your founder, Count Rumford, and 
that a great portion of his time, his writings, and his work was de- 
voted to this very question. 

Hardly any subject would be more in harmony with the aims 
which he set before him in founding this society, as we may learn 
from the following quotation from the "Prospectus of the Royal 
Institution," published at the end of the fifth volume of Rumford's 
works : " But if it should be proved, as in fact it may, that in the 
applications of fire, in the management of heat, and in the production 
of light, we do not derive half the advantage from combustion which 
might be obtained, it will readily be admitted that these subjects must 
constitute a very important part of the useful information to be con- 
veyed in the public lectures of the Royal Institution." 

And why should it be necessary, at the end of this nineteenth 
century, to give a lecture on " The principles of fireplace construc- 
tion " ? Why should such a title draw together an audience ? Clearly 
from the fact that correct principles have been habitually, and, until 
the last few years, almost universally violated, and because the rules 
so ably worked out, so earnestly and forcibly advocated by Rumford, 

* A lecture delivered at the Royal Institution of Great Britain, February 5, 18S6. 


have lain dormant, lingering here and there, chiefly in old-fashioned 
houses, and almost forgotten. 

Again, why should a layman, whose profession lies outside that of 
the architect, the builder, and the manufacturer, take upon himself to 
teach principles that are to guide other professions than his own ? 
Mainly for two reasons : one, that there are principles which a medi- 
cal man may work out without reproach, as tending to contribute to 
the happiness, the comfort, and the health of mankind ; the other, that 
when principles have to be insisted upon, and to be made a subject 
of public instruction, they can be urged with more effect by those who 
are hampered by no relations to any patents, and have no pecuniary 
interest in the success or failure of the application of the principles in 
question. On this point we have a good example in Count Rumford, 
who says in a note : " The public in general and particularly those 
tradesmen and manufacturers whom it may concern, are requested to 
observe that, as the author does not intend to take out any patent for 
any invention of his which may be of public utility, all persons are at 
full liberty to imitate them, and vend them for their own emolument, 
when, and where, and in any way they may think proper." 

Three evils result from the prevalence of bad principles in con- 
struction : 1. Waste of fuel and loss of heat. 2. Excessive produc- 
tion of soot and smoke. 3. Large addition to ash-pit refuse by cinders, 
which are really unburned, and therefore wasted fuel. These are mat- 
ters of national concern, and it has been the main object of my labors 
on this question during the last four years to endeavor to convince 
the public that it is the interest no less than the duty of every house- 
holder to burn his fuel on correct principles, and to do his part toward 
the diminution of these evils. 

On the first point, " waste of fuel and heat," let us listen to Rum- 
ford, whose words are as true to-day as when written eighty years 
ago : " Though it is generally acknowledged that there is a great 
waste of fuel in all countries, arising from ignorance and carelessness 
in the management of fire, yet few very few, I believe are aware of 
the real amount of this waste. . . . From the result of all my inquiries 
upon this subject, I have been led to conclude that not less than seven 
eighths of the heat generated, or which with proper management 
might be generated, from the fuel actually consumed, is carried up into 
the atmosphere with the smoke, and totally lost. . . . And with regard 
to the economy of fuel, it has this in particular to recommend it, that 
whatever is saved by an individual is at the same time a positive 
saving to the whole community." 

Heat is wasted in three ways either by combustion under the 
impulse of strong draught, which means rapid escape of heat up the 
chimney ; or by imperfect combustion of the gases which are gener- 
ated during the burning of the coals ; or by escape of heat through 
the iron sides and back into the space between the range and the 


brickwork, and so into the chimney. The greatest offenders are the 
ordinary register grates. Iron all over, back, and sides, and roof, they 
are usually set in a chamber open above to the chimney, and imper- 
fectly filled in, or not filled in at all, with brickwork. The heat es- 
capes through the iron to this chamber, and thence is lost. Another 
fault is that the " register-opening," in other words the " throat of the 
chimney," being immediately above the coal, submits the burning fuel 
to the full concentrated force of the current to the chimney, convert- 
ing the fire into a miniature blast-furnace. On this point Rum ford 
says : " But there are, I am told, persons in this country who are so 
fond of seeing what is called a great roaring fire, that even with its 
attendant inconveniences, of roasting and freezing opposite sides of 
the body at the same time, they prefer it to the genial and equable 
warmth which a smaller fire, properly managed, may be made to pro- 
duce, even in an open-chimney fireplace." 

The second result of faulty construction in fireplaces is "undue 
production of smoke and soot." Smoke and soot imply imperfect 
combustion, and to this two defects in a fire mainly contribute, one, 
too rapid a draught through the fire which hurries away and chills 
below burning-point the gas rising from the heated fuel. The other 
defect is too cold a fire, i. e., too small a body of heat in and around 
the fuel, so that the temperature of the gases is not raised to a point 
at which they will burn. On the smoke question Rumford waxes 
eloquent : " The enormous waste of fuel in London may be estimated 
by the vast dark cloud which continually hangs over this great me- 
tropolis, and frequently overshadows the whole country, far and wide ; 
for this dense cloud is certainly composed almost entirely of uncon- 
sumed coal, which, having stolen wings from the innumerable fires of 
this great city, has escaped by the chimneys, and continues to sail 
about in the air till, having lost the heat which gave it volatility, it 
falls in a dry shower of extremely fine black dust to the ground, ob- 
scuring the atmosphere in its descent, and frequently changing the 
brightest day into more than Egyptian darkness." 

A few years ago the prevalence of unusually dense fogs roused the 
metropolitan public to a sense of this great evil. The Smoke Abate- 
ment Society was formed, and under its auspices exhibitions of smoke- 
consuming apparatus and improved fireplaces were held in London and 
Manchester. Beyond the fact that certain grates were pronounced to 
be good in point of economy, and moderate in the production of smoke, 
and that the public has been led to take an interest in and inquire into 
the relative value and economy of various patent fireplaces, there has 
been but little advance in the education of the public in the principles 
which lie at the root of the whole question. 

A third result of bad construction is the " production of cinders." 
With good coal, cinders are inexcusable. They are unconsumed car- 
bon coke and imply a faulty fireplace. If thrown into the ash-pit, 


as is the case in ninety-nine times out of a hundred, they are shameful 
waste, and more than waste, for they entail a great cost for their re- 
moval. The town of Leeds pays about fourteen thousand pounds a 
year for the scavenging of the streets and the emptying of ash-pits. 
Nearly every house in Leeds supplies in the way of cinders at least 
twice as much ash-pit refuse as it might do, were the fireplaces proper- 
ly constructed. The ash-pit refuse of Leeds is burned in a " de- 
structor," and the cinders in the refuse provide not only heat enough 
for its reduction to a mineral residue, but spare heat for driving two 
sixty-horse-power engines, and for consuming a reasonable amount of 
pigs, etc., killed by or on account of disease. 

These three great evils, evils affecting not only individuals, but the 
community, waste of fuel and heat, production of soot, production of 
cinders, are a direct result of the violation of the correct principles in 
fireplace construction. 

Let us next inquire what are the principles which promote good 
combustion in an open fireplace i. e., what are the conditions which 
are essential to enable fuel to give out to a room " good money's worth 
in heat." That such a result may be obtained, fuel must burn well 
but not rapidly. Two things in combination are essential to the com- 
bustion of fuel a supply of oxygen, and a high temperature i. e., 
plenty of heat around the fuel. If fuel be burned with a hot jacket 
around it, a very moderate amount of oxygen will sustain combustion, 
and, if the supply of oxygen be moderate, combustion is slow. Burn 
coal with a chilling jacket around it, a rapid conductor like iron, and 
it needs a fierce draught of oxygen to sustain combustion, and this 
means rapid escape of actual heat, and also of potential heat in un- 
burned gases and smoke, up the chimney. This is the key to the whole 
position ; this is the touchstone by which to test the principles of fire- 
place construction. 

Few people probably realize the exact conditions of combustion, 
which may be well illustrated from the process of manufacture of coal- 
gas. In coal we have three kinds of constituents : One mineral, in- 
combustible, seen in the ash residue, which for good coal amounts to 
barely three per cent. The second, volatile, and which, under the 
influence of heat becoming gaseous, appears in an open fire as tall 
flame and smoke, and, where combustion is imperfect, produces soot. 
The third constituent is carbon or charcoal, familiarly known as coke 
or cinder, and when burning gives a short, shallow, bluish flame. The 
carbon and the volatile portions can be raised to a high temperature, 
and still will not burn unless oxygen be brought into contact with 

In the manufacture of gas, coal is raised to a high temperature, 
and the gases are driven off by roasting the coal in an oven from 
which air, i. e., oxygen, is shut out. The gases are conducted away, 
cooled, purified, and stored for future use in a gasometer ; the com- 


bined carbon and mineral residue, being non-volatile, is cooled down 
before being exposed to the air, and is sold as coke. Here we have a 
striking proof of the fact that high temperature in fuel does not of 
itself involve combustion. If air were admitted to the red-hot coke, 
or to the gases as they escape in their heated condition from the fur- 
nace, they would burn. But when coke has become cold, and the 
gases are cold, as in a gasometer, no amount of oxygen will of itself 
start combustion. 

The deduction from all this is, that complete oxidation, i. e., good 
combustion, is possible only when the fuel and gases are at a high 
temperature, and that high temperature of fuel does not produce com- 
bustion until oxygen is introduced : therefore we can have a high tem- 
perature of fuel, without rapid combustion, provided we control and 
limit the supply of oxygen. If we have thoroughly grasped these 
elementary facts, we shall be in a position to understand the points to 
be aimed at in the construction of a fireplace. 

My attention was first directed to the question of waste of fuel at 
the time of the coal-famine some twelve years ago. I read in the 
" Times," and acted upon the suggestion, to economize coal by insert- 
ing an iron plate on the grid under the fuel so as to cut off all draught 
through the fire. This undoubtedly induced slow combustion, and 
economized fuel, but the fire was dull, cold, and ineffective. The plan 
was abandoned. It taught me, however, the fact that combustion 
could be controlled by cutting off the under-draught, but I did not 
then see why combustion was spoiled. The reason was that the 
under surface of the fire was chilled, and the fuel lost its incandes- 
cence owing to the rapid loss of heat through the iron toward the 
open-hearth chamber. To some persons even now "slow-combustion 
stoves " are an abomination, and are supposed to by synonymous with 
bad combustion. 

The next stage in my fireplace education was the adoption of the 
Abbotsford grate. I thereby learned that the reason why an Abbots- 
ford grate was an advance upon the iron plate lay in the fact that the 
solid fire-brick bottom stored up heat and enabled the fuel to burn 
more brightly resting upon a hot surface not upon a cooling iron 
plate. But Abbotsford grates, and the other class of grates with solid 
fire-brick bottoms, the Parson's grates, have disadvantages. They are 
apt to become dull and untidy toward the end of the day, and do not 
burn satisfactorily with inferior coal. There is a better thing than a 
solid fire-brick bottom, and that is the chamber under the fire closed 
in front by an " Economizer." 

The history of the next, the most important stage of my fireplace 
education, was as follows : 

Some five years ago I made, somewhat accidentally, the discovery 
that the burning of coal in an ordinary fireplace could be controlled 
and retarded by the adoption of a very simple and inexpensive con- 


trivance, applicable to nearly every existing grate, and that this result 
could be attained without impairment of, and often with increase of, 
the heating power of the fire. This contrivance, which I have named 
an " Economizer," was simply a shield of iron, standing on the hearth, 
and rising as high as the level of the grid at the bottom of the grate, 
converting the hearth-space under the fire into a chamber closed by a 
movable door. 

The effect was twofold : The stream of air, which usually rushes 
through the bottom of the fire, and causes for a short time rapid com- 
bustion at a white heat, was thereby cut off, and the air under the fire 
was kept stagnant, the heated coal being dependent for its combustion 
on the air passing over the front and the upper surface. The second 
point was that this boxing up rendered the chamber hotter, and this 
increased temperature beneath the fire-grate, i. e., under the fuel, 
added so materially to the temperature of the whole, even of the cin- 
ders coming into contact with the iron grid, that the very moderate 
supply of oxygen reaching the front and upper surface of the fuel was 
sufficient to maintain every portion in a state of incandescence. More- 
over, I observed that combustion was going on at an orange, not at a 
white, heat. 

Let us contrast a white with the orange heat. A white heat in a 
fire means rapid combustion, owing to the strong current of air, oxy- 
gen, which passes under the grate, through the center of the fire, and up 
the chimney. As soon as the heart of the fire has been rapidly burned 
away at a white heat, the fuel cools ; the iron grid cools also ; and the 
cinders in contact with the grid are chilled below combustion point. 
They then cease to burn, and the bottom of the fire becomes dead and 
choked. The poker must now be brought into play to clear away the 
dead cinders, and to reopen the slits in the choked grid. New coal is 
added to the feeble remnant of burning embers, with no reserve of 
heat in the iron surroundings ; and in time, and perhaps very slowly, 
the fire revives, and rapid combustion sets in afresh under the influ- 
ence of the renewed current of oxygen passing through the heart of 
the fire. An orange heat means that the coke, i. e., the red-hot cinder, 
is burning with a slowly applied stream of oxygen, a degree of com- 
bustion which is only possible when the coal is kept warm by the hot 
chamber beneath, and by a reasonable limitation of loss of heat at the 
back and sides by fire-brick, either in contact with the fuel, or at least 
close behind the iron surrounding it. This effect is seen, partially, in 
the grates with solid fire-brick bottom, but far more perfectly in the 
grates with the chamber closed by the "Economizer." 

This hot chamber has the following effects : The incandescent 
coal remains red-hot from end to end of the grate, until nearly all is 
consumed, thus maintaining a larger body of the fuel in a state to 
radiate effective heat into a room. The cinders on coming into con- 
tact with the iron grid also remain red-hot, and so continue to burn 


away until they fall through the grid as a fine powder. This allows 
the fire to burn clearly all day long almost without poking. When 
the fire is low, and new coal is added, the reserve of heat in the hot 
chamber is such that the addition of cold fresh fuel does not tempora- 
rily quench the embers, and the fire is very quickly in a blaze after 
being: mended. 

Having made the discovery by the observation of a grate supplied 
to me with an " Economizer," the value of which, I suspect, was hard- 
ly appreciated by the makers, I applied " Economizers " one by one to 
all my grates, kitchen included. The result surpassed my expecta- 
tions. There was a saving of at least a fourth of my coal. The ex- 
perience of many friends, who, at my advice, adopted the system, con- 
firmed my own results. It was, therefore, clear to me that I was 
bound to make widely known a discovery which was fraught with 
such benefit to myself, and was likely to prove a great boon to the 

My chief aim hitherto has been to persuade the public to apply 
the " Economizer " to existing fireplaces. After steady exertions for 
four years, some impression has been made on the inertia of the pub- 
lic, and extensive trials of the " Economizer " are taking place in many 
parts of the country. To-day, however, my aims are more complete. 
It is my wish to advocate not one principle alone, although that is the 
cardinal one, but to urge all the best principles which enter into the 
construction of a really effective fireplace, and to induce those whom 
it may concern to replace bad by an entirely new construction, right 
in every point. 

The rules of construction which I shall lay down have been arrived 
at entirely by my own observation of what appeared to be the best 
points in various fireplaces. It was, therefore, no less a satisfaction 
to me than a surprise to discover, on reading Rumford's work in prepa- 
ration for this lecture, that nothing which I have to advocate is new, 
but that every principle, and the " Economizer " is hardly an excep- 
tion, was advocated no less enthusiastically by him at the very com- 
mencement of this century. 

Having considered the principles that should guide us, we are now 
prepared to lay down strict rules which should be acted upon in the 
construction of fireplaces. I trust that what I have said has so far 
commended itself to your judgment that the fourteen rules here drawn 
up will command your hearty assent, and in due time will win their 
way into the confidence of our architects, our builders, and the public : 

Rule I. "As little iron as possible." The only parts of a fire- 
place that are necessarily made of iron are the grid on which the coal 
rests, and the bars in front. The " Economizer," though usually made 
of iron, from convenience in construction, might be of earthenware, 
and so would be more perfectly in harmony with this rule. On this 
point Rumford speaks most emphatically : " Those (grates) whose 


construction is the most simple, and which, of course, are the cheap- 
est, are beyond comparison the best, on all accounts. Nothing being 
wanted in these chimneys but merely a grate for containing coals, and 
additional apparatus being not only useless but very pernicious, all 
complicated and expensive grates should be laid aside, and such as are 
simple substituted in their stead. In the choice of a grate, beauty and 
elegance may easily be united with perfect simplicity. Indeed, they 
are incompatible with everything else." Again he says, " Iron, and 
in general metals of all kinds, are to be reckoned among the very 
worst materials that it is possible to employ in the construction of a 

Rule II. " The back and sides of the fireplace should be of brick, 
or fire-brick." Brick retains, stores, and accumulates heat, and radi- 
ates it back into the room, and keeps the fuel hot. Iron lets heat slip 
through it up the chimney, gives very little back to the room, and 
chills the fuel. On this point also Rumford speaks very strongly. 
"The best materials I have hitherto been able to discover are fire- 
brick and common bricks and mortar. . . . The fuel, instead of being 
employed to heat the room directly or by the direct rays from the fire, 
should be so disposed or placed as to heat the back and sides of the 
grate, which must always be constructed of fire-brick or fire-stone, and 
never of iron or any other metal." 

Rule III. " The fire-brick back should lean over the fire, not lean 
away from it" as has been the favorite construction throughout the 
kingdom. The lean-over not only increases the power of absorbing 
heat from rising flame otherwise lost up the chimney but the in- 
creased temperature accumulated in the fire-brick raises the tempera- 
ture of gases to combustion-point, which would otherwise pass up the 
chimney unconsumed, and thus be lost. Rumford discovered accident- 
ally the value of this " lean-over," and at once realized its immense 
importance. He does not, however, seem to have earned out his in- 
tention of working out for general adoption this form of back. 

He first of all condemns to alteration all fire-backs which lean away 
from the fire. " It frequently happens that the iron backs of grates 
are not vertical, but inclined backward. Where the grates are wide, 
and can be filled up with fire-brick, the inclination of the back will be 
of little consequence, since, by making the fire-brick in the form of a 
wedge, the front may be made perfectly vertical, the iron back being 
hid in the solid work of the fireplace. If the grate be too shallow to 
admit of any diminution, it will be best to take away the iron back 
entirely, and cause the vertical back of the fireplace to serve as the 
back to the grate." 

He next describes his discovery of the value of the " lean-over " : 
"In this case I should increase the depth of the fireplace at the hearth 
to twelve or thirteen inches, and should build the back perpendicular 
to the height of the top of the burning fuel, and then, sloping the back 


by a gentle inclination forward, bring it to its proper place, that is to 
sa y> perpendicularly under the back part of the throat of the chimney. 
This slope (which will bring the back forward four or five inches, 
or just as much as the depth of the fireplace is increased), though it 
ought not to be too abrupt, yet it ought to be quite finished at the 
height of eight or ten inches above the fire, otherwise it may perhaps 
cause the chimney to smoke. 

" Having been obliged to carry backward the fireplace in the man- 
Der here described, in order to accommodate it to a chimney whose 
walls in front were remarkably thin, I was surprised to find, upon 
lighting the fire, that it appeared to give out more heat into the room 
than any fireplace I had ever constructed. This effect was quite un- 
expected ; but the cause of it was too obvious not to be immediately 
discovered. The flame rising from the fire broke against the part of 
the back which sloped forward over the fire, and this part of the back 
being soon very much heated, and in consequence of its being very 
hot (and when the fire burned bright it was frequently quite red-hot), 
it threw off into the room a great deal of radiant heat. It is not pos- 
sible that this oblique surface (the slope of the back of the fireplace) 
could have been heated red-hot merely by the radiant heat projected 
by the burning fuel ; for other parts of the fireplace nearer the fire, 
and better situated for receiving radiant heat, were never found to be 
so much heated ; and hence it appears that the combined heat in the 
current of smoke and hot vapor which rises from an open fire may be, 
at least in part, stopped in its passage up the chimney, changed into 
radiant heat, and afterward thrown into the room. 

" This opens a new and very interesting field for experiment, and 
bids fair to lead to important improvements in the construction of 
fireplaces. . . . But, as I mean soon to publish a particular account of 
these fireplaces, with drawings and ample directions for constructing 
them, I will not enlarge further on the subject in this place. It may, 
however, not be amiss just to mention here that these new invented 
fireplaces not being fixed to the walls of the chimney, but merely set 
down upon the hearth, may be used in any open chimney ; and the 
chimneys altered or constructed on the principles here recommended 
are particularly well adapted for receiving them." 

Of recent years " lean-over " backs have been reinvented and spar- 
ingly used. The " Milner " back is excellent. It burns fuel well, and 
gives out a great heat. But it is extravagant in consumption, unless 
controlled by the " Economizer." 

Captain Douglas Galton saw the virtue of the " lean-over," and 
adopted it in the grate which goes by his name. The " Bee-hive " 
back was the same in principle and very good, and, having a very 
small grid, was economical. 

The " Rifle " back gives an admirable fire, little short of perfec- 
tion ; but observation shows that the " tall " flame extends far beyond 


the bend, and is therefore soon lost as a heating factor, the heat being 
wasted in the chimney. 

From the commencement of my study of the fireplace question the 
value of the " lean-over " has not only taken firm hold of my fancy, 
but my sense of its importance has been growing in intensity, until I 
saw that the best construction must show the greatest possible extent 
of " lean-over " that could be obtained without sacrifice of other im- 
portant details of construction. How to accomplish this will appear 
in considering the fifth rule. 

Rule IV. " The bottom of the fire, or grating, should be deep from 
before backward, probably not less than nine inches for a small room, 
nor more than eleven inches for a large room" This is a corollary to 
Rule III. We can not possibly have the back of the fireplace over- 
hanging the fire when there is a shallow grid. If for no other reason 
than the demands of the " lean-over," depth of fire-space is essential. 
But there is gain, thereby, in another direction. It affords plenty of 
room for the burning fuel to lie down close to the grid, and away 
from swift air-currents, and prevents the tendency of the fire to burn 

On this point Rumford has a word to say : " But as many of the 
grates now in common use will be found too large when the fireplaces 
are altered and improved, it will be necessary to diminish their ca- 
pacities by filling up with pieces of fire-brick. But, in diminishing the 
capacities of grates, care must be taken not to make them too narrow, 
i. e., too shallow. 

" The proper depth for grates for rooms of middling size will be 
from six to eight inches. But, where the width (i. e., depth) is not 
more than five inches, it will be very difficult to prevent the fire going 

"Where grates designed for rooms of middling size are longer 
(and broader) than fourteen or fifteen inches, it will always be best to 
diminish their length by filling them up at their two ends by fire- 

Rule V. " The sides or 'covings'* of the fireplace should be in- 
clined to one another as the sides of an equilateral triangle " (Fig. 2). 
The working out of this rule has cost me much thought and experi- 
ment. It was worked out more or less empirically with a view to 
attain certain objects, and, having attained them, I discovered that I 
had unwittingly selected the sides of an equilateral triangle. It is of 
some importance, and may be of interest, to tell how the question 
arose. In my earlier fireplaces the sides or " covings " were parallel 
to each other, and had the defect that they radiated most of their heat 
from one to the other, not into the room, with the probable result that 
much of such heat would eventually escape up the chimney. 

It was clear, then, that the sides must be set at an angle with the 
back, so as to face toward the room. But at what angle ? My first 


experiments were determined by the shape of the corner bricks which 
were in the market. These determined the inclination of the sides to 
be such that, if prolonged, they would meet at a right angle. This is 
the angle laid down by Rumford as the angle of selection, but as the 
largest angle admissible in a good fireplace. This angle, however, 
brought me into difficulties with my " lean-over " back. The openness 
of the angle made the back, as it ascended, spread out so rapidly that 
what was gained in width was lost in height. Moreover, my critics 
objected to its appearance as ugly. What, then, should determine the 
inclination of the sides ? The point was thus determined : Seeing 
that a heated brick throws off the greatest amount of radiant heat at 
a right angle with its surface, the " covings" should be at such an 
inclination to each other that the perpendicular line from the inner 
margin of one " coving " should just miss the outer margin of the 
opposite "coving." Where the " covings," as in my earlier attempts 
and in Count Rumf ord's fireplaces, are at a right angle to each other, 
this perpendicular line misses the opposite margin by several inches. 
It was clear, therefore, that the inclination might be made more acute. 
Guided by this idea, and having determined the principle on which 
the shape of the grate should depend, an inclination was arrived at 
which turned out to be an angle of 60, i. e., the inclination of the sides 
of an equilateral triangle. 

Count Rumford came very nearly to the same conclusions : " I 
have said, in my essay on chimney fireplaces, that where chimneys are 
well constructed and well situated, and have never been apt to smoke, 
in altering them the 'covings' may be placed at an angle of 135 
with the back ; but I have expressly said that they should never ex- 
ceed that angle, and have stated at large the bad consequences that 
must follow from making the opening of a fireplace very wide, when 
its depth is very shallow." 

Rule VII. " The ' lean-over"* at the back should be at an angle of 
70 " (Fig. 1). Commencing at a level (A) corresponding with the top 
of the front bars, and leaning forward at an angle of 70 with the 
horizontal line of the hearth, the back should rise to such a point that 
the angle where it returns toward the chimney (B) should be vertical- 
ly over the insertion (C) of the cheeks of the fire-grate. This angle 
(B) will be about twenty-eight inches from the hearth, or sixteen inch- 
es from the top of the fire, and about three and a half to four and a 
half inches from the front line of the fireplace, according to the size 
of the grate. These points will be obvious from the vertical section 
of the fireplace here shown, and from C, Fig. 2. 

So far, in the fireplaces built after my rules, the height of the grid 
from the hearth has been taken at two bricks, or six inches, and the 
height of the bars from the grid also at two bricks, or six inches. It 
follows, therefore, that the lean-over commences at twelve inches from 
the hearth. It is possible that a better angle than 70 may eventually 



be fouDd such as an angle of 60 but commencing a few inches 
above the fire so as not to lower the angle B where the lean-over 
returns to the chimnev. 

. 1 2 3 4 S 6 r 8" 9 10 II 1/2 laches. 
-^ / fiot. -^ 

FlQ. 1. 

Rule VIII. "The shape of the grate should be based upon a square 
described within an equilateral triangle, the size to vary in constant 
proportion to the side of the square" (Fig. 2). The shape of the grate, 
or grid, is arrived at in the following way : Describe a square, D, of 
which the sides shall be eight, nine, or ten inches, according to the size 
of the room, within an equilateral triangle, E, the two sides of which 

TOL. XXIX. 16 



shall represent the "covings" of the fireplace, and the base the front 
line of the fireplace. From each front angle of the square carry a 
line from D to C, to the " covings " or sides of the triangle, at an angle 
of 45 with the front line of the fireplace. These two lines, with the 
side of the square from which they are drawn, form the front of the 
grid. The back line of the grid does not correspond with the cor- 
responding side of the square, but is carried one and a half inch far- 
ther back, so as to give greater depth to the grate, and allow the fire- 
brick back to overhang the back of the grid to the extent of one and 
a half inch (see A, Fig. 1) before it ascends as the " lean-over." 

|iffi, E 


D D 

I 2 S V S 6 7 8 

I I ! ' I I I 

Fig. 2. 


The diagram of the grate, with the square and triangle on which it 
is based in dotted lines, will, I hope, make this description sufficiently 
intelligible. Whenever a grate on this principle proves too hot for 
a room, and in summer when a smaller fire is needed, the size should 
be reduced in width by triangular fire-bricks at each side, which reduce 
the fire-space to a square, with the addition of the one-and-a-half-inch 
space under the back. This rule secures sufficient depth from front to 
back, and a constant proportion between depth and width, whatever 
be the size of grate. 

Rule IX. " The slits in the grating, or grid, should be narrow, 
perhaps one fourth inch for a sitting-room grate and good coal, three 
eighths for a kitchen-grate and bad coaV When the slits are larger, 
small cinders fall through and are wasted. 

Rule X. u The front bars should be vertical, that ashes may not 
lodge and look untidy ; narrow, perhaps one fourth inch in thickness, 
so as not to obstruct heat and close together, perhaps three fourths of 
an inch apart, so as to prevent coal and cinder from falling on the 
hearth" (Fig. 3). It is too soon to judge as to the lasting powers of 
one-fourth inch bars. Those in one of my own grates are round, and, 



after four and a half months' daily wear, show no sign of burning away. 
Flat bars, one fourth inch by one half inch, or even by two thirds of 
an inch, might perhaps resist fire better, if the one-fourth-inch round 
bars burn away. The bars are so arranged that, if one fails, it can 
easily be renewed. I have round bars about one third of an inch in 
diameter at present on trial in my kitchen-range. 

I'2 3 $ S t 7 8 


Fig. 3. 

Rule XL " There should be a rim one inch or one and a half 
inch in depth round the lower insertion of the vertical bars " (Fig. 
3). The object of this is to conceal the ash at the bottom of the fire, 
and to enable the front cinders to burn away completely by protect- 
ing them from the cold air. This rim (F) contributes greatly to tidi- 
ness, and as a rule will prevent the need of any sweeping up of the 
hearth during the day. 


Rule XII. " The chamber under the fire should be closed by a 
shield or economizer''" (G, Figs. 1 and 3). This has been already 
spoken of, and described as the central principle which enhances 
greatly the value of all the rest. 

Rule XIII. " Whenever a fireplace is constructed on these princi- 
ples, it must be borne in mind that a greater body of heat is accumu- 
lated about the hearth than in ordinary fireplaces. If there be the 
least doubt whether wooden beams may possibly run under the hearth- 
stone, then an ash-pan should be added, with a double bottom, the space 
between the two plates being filled with artificial asbestus, ' slag-wool,'' 
two inches in thickness?'' 

Rule XIY. " A fireplace on this construction must not be put up 
in a party wall, where there is no projecting chimney -breast, lest the 
heated back should endanger woodwork in a room at the other side" 

Having now worked up rules for the construction of an effective 
fireplace, let us consider what benefits result. 

1. Economy of Fuel. I have already stated that my own experi- 
ence of the application of the "Economizer" to all my original fire- 
places, including kitchen and scullery, was a saving of more than one 
fourth. Friends who have followed my advice report variously from 
a sixth to one third. The saving in the Leeds Infirmary, according 
to returns supplied to me by Mr. Blair, the general manager, has 
been nearly a sixth, amounting to nearly one hundred tons in the 
year. What the saving in the fireplaces constructed on the best rules 
may be I can not say, probably about the same degree of saving, 
with a large increase of heat given into the room. My conviction is 
that such fireplaces make one ton of coal give out as much heat into a 
room as two tons would yield if burned in the worst forms of the 
nearly obsolete register-stove. 

2. Reduction of Soot. This is, perhaps, from a national point of 
view, the most important point in connection with our subject and 
yet it is the portion of it in which my evidence is the most defective. 
I can only offer you my general impression that there is a very im- 
portant reduction in the amount of soot, an impression based upon 
observation of the smoke issuing from chimneys where " Economiz- 
ers " are in use, and of the diminution of soot falling about my own 
house, which is confirmed by the testimony of Miss Gordon, Lady 
Superintendent of the Leeds Infirmary, as to the lessened amount of 
soot which finds its way into the wards. 

3. Reduction of Ash-pit Refuse. This point is clearly proved by 
the fine, snuff-like powder, free from cinders, which I show ; and by 
the fact that the whole produce in the ash-pit of my kitchen fireplace 
for one week was contained in one ash-pan, and weighed fifteen 

Danger of Fire. Seeing that improved fireplace construction 
involves increased heat about the hearth, an actual danger of fire will 


be created where the hearthstone rests on wood, unless the hearth 
itself be protected. It was therefore my duty to find out a means of 
protecting the hearth. With this view, experiments have been made 
with ash-pans with double bottoms and a small air-space between the 
ash-pan and the hearth. The results are shown in the specimens of 
cotton-wool, wood, etc., which have been exposed under ash-pans of 
various constructions. My conclusion is that two inches of artificial 
asbestus at the bottom of an ash-pan would render any hearth safe. 
Such an ash-pan may be named a " Hearth-Protector." Another cau- 
tion should be given against erecting one of these improved fireplaces 
where there is no projecting chimney-breast, lest there should be in- 
sufficient depth of brick between the back of the fire and the wood- 
work of a room at the other side. 

" Kitchen Kefuse" In some households there are certain portions 
of kitchen refuse which are apt to find their way into the dust-bin, 
instead of the pig-tub. You here see the remains of refuse, consisting 
of celery-stalks, potato-parings, etc., which have been roasted in a 
wire cage underneath my kitchen-fire in the chamber closed by the 
" Economizer." The wire cage is necessary to allow the heat to reach 
the under surface of the refuse. 

Having now for four years done my best to persuade the public to 
take measures in reference to fireplaces which will confer upon them 
a saving in the cost of fuel, a saving in the labor of servants, an in- 
crease in the warmth and comfort of rooms, a lessening of the soot in 
the atmosphere of towns, and a possibility of reduction of scavenging 
rates, it is no little satisfaction to feel that my views are at last 
making way, and acquiring a momentum of their own. 

It only remains for me now to bring my address to a conclusion 
with the words of the Roman poet 

" Nonfumum exfulgore, sed exfumo dare lucem." 

Hoe., Aes. Poet. 

which I will translate in the words of one of our greatest Latin 
scholars, the late Professor Conington : 

" Not smoke from fire my object is to bring, 
But fire from smoke, a very different thing." 




FOR nearly two weeks, one midwinter, my studies were pleasantly 
interrupted by a nightly visit of that funny arachnidan, Phalan- 
gium clorsatum, Say. We often hear it called Daddy-long-legs, which 
name in England is given only to the long-legged dipteran, the Ttpula, 
or crane-fly. My visitor's domicile was a nook somewhere in the 


library. As appearances are often deceptive, it would not be safe to 
predicate a literary taste of my bookish visitor, but the creature's meas- 
ured gait and pedal sprawl over my written page did suggest the airs 
of a stilted critic. And yet, to use a trade-phrase, with all its seeming 
bigness, phalangium did not " size up much." Its egg-shaped body 
was exactly a quarter of an inch in length, and an eighth wide at its 
thickest part. Of its eight legs, each one in the shortest pair measured 
an inch and five eighths, and in the longest pair the measurement ex- 
ceeded three inches, a considerable spread for so little timber. There 
was quite a good understanding between us. It would allow me to 
touch the long, thread-like legs with my pen, and even to lift one up 
above the others, and the queer thing would keep the limb raised for 
several minutes, precisely as I would leave it, as if it were hypnotized. 

The phalangium is a member of a tribe of the spiders known as the 
Pedipalpi, because the palps or feelers end, like the feet of many 
insects, in a claw, sometimes a pair, thus making a forceps. After my 
tickling his perambulators, Daddy seemed to have got his ideas started, 
for, having adjusted his octapodal highness upon my manuscript in 
most admirable equipoise, he began the delectable exercise of scratch- 
ing his legs. I am sure that the operation was enjoyable to him, while 
to me the sight was very interesting. If Captain Cuttle should find 
it necessary to try the flexibility of a whip-stock, it is supposable that 
he would take the handle in his left hand, and with a pressing motion 
pass the whip for its entire length through the iron hook which served 
for his right hand. The whip would thus take on a loop-like curve, 
and would straighten itself out with somewhat of a snap. Just in 
this way did my spider scratch his slender legs for one at a time were 
these long elastic limbs passed through the hook of the palp, when the 
limb would be bent like a loop or bow in the process, and as it left the 
hook or claw by its elasticity would do so with an almost whip-like 

The higher one ascends the animal scale in such observations, the 
more pronounced is found this habit of scratching the skin-surface of 
the body. Individually, Maud S. and Coomassie may be "too high- 
toned " for such a practice. But these creatures are coddled out of 
conscience by the groom, who has the comb and the brush almost 
always on their pelts ; hence, if these "high-bloods" come not to the 
scratch, it is because the scratch comes to them. Cushie and Dray, 
put upon their own resources, enjoy hugely a good rubbing self -ad- 
ministered against a tree or post. 

Happening one day in my lady's boudoir, I picked from the cabinet 
what I took for a pretty bit of bric-a-brac. It was an ebony stem, 
about fourteen inches long, not thicker than one's finger, and quite 
daintily turned. At one end was attached a pretty little hand deftly 
wrought in ivory. It could not be called a fist, for I noticed that the 
fingers were only half closed. The nails were well developed, and 


their ends or edges were set in a line. This artistic trifle seemed, to 
me made for some special purpose. A whisper from a friend enlight- 
ened my wonderment " A back-scratch." I caught at once. Now, 
I have read of a toy formerly common in England, which at fairs or 
upon occasions of a crowd, would be passed over the back of a rustic, 
when it made a noise like the tearing of cloth, and suggestive of a 
rent behind, to the poor man's dismay. This, too, was called a "back- 
scratch." But that was simply the vehicle of a bit of mischief. My 
lady's back-scratch was for use in that very much out-of-the-way place 
between the shoulder-blades. This handy implement, though an arti- 
cle of virtu, was in the line of luxury, although the amenities would 
hardly approve the indulgence before eyes polite. 

The above reminds how gingerly and faulty the treatment of the 
word is by the lexicographers. One would think it only meant to 
abrade, lacerate, excoriate, whereas how common the usage by which 
it signifies to titillate with mild friction ! The Latin expresses the ac- 
tion nicely, scabere cutem leviter ungue, which in good English is 
simply to rub the skin lightly with one's nails. Pliny has aures pe- 
dibus, scratching the ears with the feet, which suggests the experience 
of that tourist in Italy who rode a mangy mare. The beast had a 
bad habit of stopping to scratch her ears, and, the hind-feet being 
used for that purpose, the thighs of the rider received all the benefit 
of the operation, which, like tickling with a brickbat, was too crude 
for real comfort. But the ungulates generally are bunglers at this 
trick, though not insensible to opportunity, as witness when our 
neighbor's cow got into the lawn, and, wild with delight, went tearing 
through the soft evergreens, our pretty arbor-vitae trees, which was so 
much nicer than rubbing against a fence. 

It behooves to confess that Nature has been a niggard in this mat- 
ter unto man, having done less for him in this line than she has for 
the beasts that perish. "The paragon of animals "is the victim of 
irritation from eczema in a hundred forms and degrees. Though hav- 
ing already thrown a stone at the lexicographers, here goes another, 
for we must cite from memory that churlish dictionary-maker, Dr. 
Johnson, who wrote in the first edition of his dictionary, "Oat a 
grain used in England to feed horses ; in Scotland, men." This was 
very unbecoming. But the food has much to do with the condition 
of the cuticle. Hence we put together the Scotsman's " oaten cakes " 
and the legend of the benevolent nobleman who set up scratching- 
posts in the streets of Edinburgh, and the canny benediction of each 
user of them, " God bless the Duke of Argyll ! " 

On the physical or rather physiological side of the question, a 
good deal might be said for this mild friction of the skin. Near the 
surface that is, just under the scarf, or epidermis the capillaries, 
almost microscopic blood-veins, abound in well-nigh infinite numbers. 
Each of these minute carriers or distributors of the crimson life- 


stream has along its sides its complement of nerves nearly parallel. 
Between these nerve-fibers lies the undifferentiated protoplasm, or life- 
stuff, which is the supply of constructive matter for the use of these 
tinv builders, for out of this life-matter, or bioplasm, each cell is 
built. But even mortar may need quickening so this life-stuff may 
become too passive, that is, quasi torpid. These nervous fibrillae are 
the electric wires, and gentle friction is the dynamo to generate the 
mysterious fluid and quicken the conductivity along the lines. 

Strange to say, this scratching has also its psychological side. Let 
a puzzle be propounded, and why on the instant does the nonplused 
one institute a rummaging for an idea in the hirsute thatch of his 
cranium ? And everybody does it, even he " of the front of Jove 
himself " more than the beetle-headed clown. We asked an explana- 
tion of our encyclopedic friend who " knows it all," and quoted to him 
the well-worn distich : 

" Be mindful, when invention fails, 
To scratch your head and bite your nails." 

Upon the word he began disheveling his carefully brushed hair, say- 
ing it was " a poser," and, by way of compliment, that it " was not 
slow " ; to which our response, " No, it's Swift " ; at which he laughed, 
though he had quite missed the point, for he rejoined that he always 
thought us " a little fast." 

It is truly wonderful how lavishly and admirably Nature has gifted 
many animals for this very exercise of scratching lightly with the claws. 
At my feet lie Tom and Dick, two good friends. The former is a fine 
young Maltese, the latter an old black-and-tan. The cat's claws are 
very sharp, the dog's are less so. Both animals are clean and in good 
condition, yet both appear to take delight in a good scratching at the 
back of the head, and especially behind the ears. The hind-foot is the 
instrument used, and with what delicacy yes, nicety, or precision of 
adjustment ! So rapidly does that foot move, that it makes a fan-like 
shadow ; and so exact the distance at which the keen, protruded claws 
are set, that it secures only a delicate touching of the parts, producing 
the pleasant titillation of the tonsorial brush. Any coarser adjustment 
of those needle-pointed hooks and the blood would flow from the lacer- 
ated skin. 

But, even more than with the mammals, is this cuticular titillation 
a necessity with the ordinary fishes ; and, since they have neither 
hands nor feet, how is this want in their case gratified ? I have wit- 
nessed the operation many times, yet fear a failure to adequately de- 
scribe it. The scaly coating of a fish needs an occasional cleaning, as 
does the copper sheathing of a ship ; for, with both, a foul surface im- 
pedes progress through the water. On each side of a typical fish is a 
thin line, known as the lateral line. It is, in fact, a mucous canal, from 
which issues at the will of the animal a lubricating fluid, which, spread 
over its scaly sheathing, lessens friction, and so facilitates movement 


in the water. This mucous line is made up of rows of pores, which 
communicate with the slime-secreting glands. Leydig discovered that 
each of these oil-producers had its own nerve, thus constituting a series 
of sense-organs. And very delicate is their sense, as by them the fish 
gauges the weight of the water-mass, also the direction and resistance 
of currents. But associated with these nerves arranged in tufts, or 
buttons, are air-cells, hence it seems certain that the fish is able to 
appreciate vibration in water, whose wave-lengths are larger than are 
those of sound. The faculty of appreciating the waves of light, we 
call seeing, and similarly of sound, hearing, whose waves are much 
larger than those of light. But our scaly subject is endowed with a 
third wave-measuring sense, in which possession it out-paragons " the 
paragon" himself. It can appreciate the trills or waves of water 
vibration, and of this faculty our language has no word to express 
the name. 

Now, these oil-yielding tubes above described may get clogged, or 
the glands become torpid. Here, then, are sense-organs to declare the 
state of affairs. Hence arises the necessity for the animal either to 
clean off its body armor, or to stimulate into activity the indolent or- 
gans. And, in fact, in other ways, fishes have their own eczema, or 
diseases of the skin. Sometimes there is a blistering or deterioration of 
the cutis, and sometimes a species of Saprolegnia, a fungous parasite, 
sets up a floculent growth on the cuticle. For any of these instances 
friction is the only remedy, and its exercise is unquestionably pleasant 
to the fish. 

But how can a fish scratch itself ? Sometimes in the way of Cushie, 
as when she rushed through the evergreens. So a fish will often dart 
through a dense clump of soft water-weeds. But this amounts to lit- 
tle else than a gentle titillation. The scaly sheath is not to be cleansed 
so easily. I have seen the performance many times, and by several 
species, but none have so much interested me in this respect as the sun- 
fish. Take the one best known to the pin-hook anglers, and often 
called "pumpkin-seed." There is a bowlder with a smooth, clean sur- 
face. The fish is steady ; its big eyes seem of a sudden to glow with 
a blue light. Every fin is set, even to the dorsal, which bristles with 
its keen spines. The fish seems aiming for that stone. The propul- 
sion must come from the caudal and the side fins, but mostly from the 
former. All these give a simultaneous blow against the water ; at the 
same time, as if it were in the way, the top-sail that is, the dorsal falls 
and is snugly reefed. All this is done in a moment, and such the force 
that the fish truly darts, threatening to butt its nose against the rock. 
The speed is high, but, just ere the rock is reached, there is a marvel- 
ously sudden bend of the body, the most convex point being the exact 
spot which is to be scratched. Though very rapid, so well-timed is 
the movement, and so nice the adjustment of the position, that the 
pressure or amount of rub or friction is correctly received, and the 


point of impact is precise, and the body glances from the rock. The 
collision is so accurately gauged that no harm is done. And similarly, 
and with a great variety of ingenious posturing, the fish subjects all 
]3arts of its body to this treatment. It even contrives to scratch the 
top of its head, by bringing the desired spot into the proper position 
at the precise moment of the glancing impact with the stone. The 
feat is delicate and deftly, as if an acrobat should in his somersaults 
comb his hair against a rock with no harm done every time. 

Having enjoyed the use of a large aquarium for the study of fishes, 
it has been an object with me to anticipate their wants. Hence I have 
purposely given them scratching-stones properly adapted to their needs. 
I was surprised that a favorite object for this purpose was a large live 
river-mussel, the Anodonta excurvata. The corrugations of the shell, 
which mark its growth, form a series of smooth ridges, upon and 
against which, with their contortions of twists and bends and tilts, 
these fishes glance in scratching themselves. As to ichthyic emotion, 
one can not say much. That they enjoy these exercises, I am sure ; 
and I almost think they know their benefactor, for they come at his 
call at feeding-time though up to this present writing I have not 
observed anything that might be interpreted as a grateful recognition 
of benefits conferred ; certainly nothing commensurate with the canny 
benediction, " God bless the Duke of Argyll ! " 



IT is a well-known fact that food undergoing decomposition spoil- 
ing, as it is termed is unwholesome. Cases of poisoning that 
have occurred on the partaking of meat, fish, sausage, and cheese, that 
is, food of animal origin, will be readily recalled, for on such occasions 
the daily press has rarely failed to sound notes of warning. Until 
quite recently, however, the nature of these poisons was veiled in ob- 
scurity, and it is chiefly owing to the excellent investigations of Pro- 
fessor L. Brieger, at Berlin, that some light has been thrown on this 

As the study of the poisons of putrefaction is not only of great 
interest from the scientific point of view, but of the utmost impor- 
tance in every-day life (for these poisons may be generated and pro- 
duced daily in pantry and cellar), it seems desirable, in the interest of 
hygiene, to relate the new discoveries that have been made in this 
field, and review the earlier work done in it. 

Schlossberger, who for some time past has been compiling statis- 
tics of cases of poisoning caused by food that had spoiled, records for 
Swabia alone, from the year 1793 to 1853, four hundred cases of sick- 


ness caused by sausage-poison ; of this number, one hundred and fifty 
terminated fatally. Cases where cheese was the cause of poisoning 
are also on record ; the symptoms in these instances were those of 
typhus fever. The plague-like epidemic which occurred some time 
ago in the Volga district, and spread terror throughout Europe, was 
traced and ascribed to the diet of the population in those regions, 
which consisted almost exclusively of fish. Illness resulting from the 
eating of food that has spoiled is of so common occurrence that many 
will be able to recall instances of it from among the circle of their 
own friends and acquaintances. 

Animal food that has entered into decomposition may generally be 
distinguished from fresh food by its presence proving unpleasant to 
the eye and nose. In fact, the nose may be considered as a sort of 
guardian of safety, for, generally speaking, whatever proves disagree- 
able to the sense of smell is injurious to the system. However, an ill- 
advised economy often causes these warnings to be not heeded; and 
among the lower classes we sometimes meet with so great an indiffer- 
ence, the result of habit, as to such indications, that frequently no dis- 
tinction is made between food in a state of good preservation and 
that having a bad odor. To this circumstance must be ascribed the 
fact that diseases resulting from the poisons of putrefaction are of 
relatively much more frequent occurrence among the poorer ranks. 

Cases of poisoning by food have, however, also been noted where 
no warning was given by the sense of smell. The explanation of this 
must be sought in the fact that the pure poisons of putrefaction are 
odorless compounds, and may probably occur without necessitating 
at least, in any perceptible degree the formation of products of de- 
composition which possess a strong odor. 

The Danish scientist, Panum, had already ascertained that the poi- 
son of putrefaction is not destroyed by boiling. G. O. Weber, Ham- 
mer, and Schwenninger, further inferred from their investigations that 
it is of a chemical nature. Brieger, however, was the first clearly to 
establish this ; he has succeeded in preparing the poisons of putrefac- 
tion in a pure state, and has given an explanation of their chemistry. 
He mixed pure white of egg with the juice from the stomach of a 
pig freshly killed, and allowed the mixture to stand twenty-four hours 
at a temperature of blood-heat. By means of a rather complex chem- 
ical process he succeeded in obtaining pure a small quantity of a sub- 
stance, a few drops of an aqueous solution of which were sufficient to 
kill frogs in fifteen minutes. Rabbits died in the same time after 
inoculation with a larger quantity. From this it must be inferred that 
a poisonous principle was formed from the white of egg when it was 
subjected to artificial digestion. 

From putrid meat Brieger succeeded in preparing a substance, 
neuridine, which acted as a poison as long as it was contaminated 
with other products of putrefaction ; but when obtained in a state of 


purity it was perfectly harmless. It is closely related to two sub- 
stances which occur in the human system in its normal condition, 
namely, neurine, one of the constituents of the brain, and choline, 
which is present in the bile. By putrefaction, neuridine and the rather 
harmless choline are transformed into neurine, which is highly poison- 
ous. It is a remarkable fact that neurine, which is identical with 
muscarine, the poisonous principle of a toad-stool (Agaricus musca- 
rius), and which is a normal constituent of the human system, should 
prove so destructive when introduced into the body from an outside 

The proof that the poisons of putrefaction are of a chemical nature 
is of the utmost importance. The fact affords an explanation of the 
presence of poisons which have been found in corpses, subjected to 
examination in cases where murder was suspected ; for the poisons 
formed by putrefaction bear a certain resemblance to the alkaloids of 
the hemlock, strychnine, veratrine, etc. Thus, there was found in the 
corpse of General Gibbone, in Rome whose sudden death excited a 
suspicion that he had been murdered by his servant a virulent poi- 
son, which occurs in the larkspur. However, the rare occurrence of 
this poison led to a more careful examination of the substance found, 
which indeed bore a great resemblance to the vegetable poison re- 
ferred to, but was ultimately recognized as having been formed in the 
corpse, for Professor Selmi, of Bologna, obtained the same substance 
from the corpse of another person, where every suspicion of poisoning 
was excluded. 

Brieger was eminently successful in the preparation of the poisons 
found in corpses, and which are termed " ptomaines " by chemists. 
According to his investigations, they are created by the putrefac- 
tion of white of eggy meat, fish, cheese, gelatine, and yeast, all of 
them substances used as articles of food. The presence of moisture is 
an essential condition, whence it follows that the moist mixture of 
sausage-filling is especially well adapted to the formation of ptomaines. 
In accordance with this is also the observation that a great many cases 
of poisoning have occurred after the consumption of sausage or of fish 
that had been kept damp. A careful supervision of the markets and 
a destruction of all spoiled food of animal origin should be strictly 
insisted upon especially so, as it is known that the poisons of putre- 
faction, when once formed, are not to be destroyed by boiling or by 
roasting. The action of the ptomaines is more virulent when they are 
introduced into the circulation through wounds than when they are 
brought into the stomach. Cuts and other wounds received while 
dissecting corpses have often been the cause of blood-poisoning ending 
in death. The savages of the New Hebrides are not only acquainted 
with the properties of poison of this kind, but make use of it in their 
wars. They plunge the points of their arrows, which are made of 
human bones and provided with grooves, into a corpse, about a week 


old, and then coat them with the sap of a certain creeping plant. Be- 
fore discharging the arrow they dip it into water. A serious wound 
caused by such an arrow is inevitably followed by death in from three 
to five days. Report as to a similar practice comes from the Narrin- 
jeris, inhabitants of South Australia. They are said to wound their 
enemies by splinters of bone previously plunged into corpses under- 
going putrefaction. 

Jacob Doepler, in his " Theatrum Poenarum," mentions a method of 
poisoning wells, the account of which was formerly discredited, but 
has become plausible in the light of modern researches. He states 
that people suffering from leprosy took of their blood, mixed it with 
herbs and toad-spawn, formed little pellets of the mixture, and threw 
the pellets weighted with stones into the wells. Many people who 
drank from these wells were taken with the same disease, and some of 
them died. This happened in the reign of Philip V of France, who 
caused all lepers cognizant of the outrage to be burned, and the Jews, 
who were accused of being the instigators of the crime, to be perse- 

That many who drank of such water should become leprous seems 
very likely, inasmuch as the partaking of spoiled food causes eruption 
of the skin, nettle-rash, etc., in many persons ; chiefly are these symp- 
toms to be noticed after eating spoiled fish. Of course the effects are 
more serious with some persons than with others. Some people are 
so sensitive that partaking of fish, seemingly fresh, will cause them in- 
convenience ; others are liable to suffer from a peculiar eruption of 
the skin after eating crabs or lobsters. Possibly the meat of these 
animals, even when in the normal condition, contains neurine sufficient 
to exert its influence on persons susceptible to it, while it may not 
affect others at all. In the maize-porridge which is called " polenta," 
and which is the chief food of a certain class of Italian working-men, 
there is formed, by putrefaction, during the hot months, a poison 
which causes " pellagra." This is an eruption of the skin, resembling 
erysipelas, which grows worse in time and finally induces death. 

In connection with this subject, the investigations of Pouchet must 
be referred to. Pouchet isolated a ptomaine from the excreta of chol- 
era-patients, which seemed to possess highly poisonous properties, for, 
when he tried to crystallize the salt he had obtained, he inhaled the 
fumes, and eighteen hours later was seized with chills and cramps in 
the limbs, while he also experienced an irregular pulse and nausea 
without vomiting. His assistant, who was not so much exposed to the 
fumes, was taken ill with the same symptoms, but not to the same ex- 

The development of cholera and the processes of putrefaction are 
ascribed to the agency of minute living organisms, the bacilli, a great 
variety of which have been found in cases of putrefaction and infec- 
tious diseases. Professor Brieger has discovered in both fresh meat 


and meat undergoing putrefaction, also in the white of eggs, the non- 
poisonous neuridine from which is formed the poisonous neurine. The 
bacilli decompose the neuridine and form neurine from it. Sjjread on 
fish they generate muscarine, the virulent poison also found in cer- 
tain toad-stools. These bacilli hence produce a peculiar ptomaine, 
according to the soil in which they happen to be growing. We 
have as an instance the poison of the pellagra and of cholera, which, 
when formed in the human system, will exercise a most deadly effect 
upon it. 

In every-day life, too, the ptomaines very often give proof of their 
presence. Heretofore, however, such cases have not always been well 
understood. The frequent inflammations of the fingers of persons 
engaged in washing dishes, etc., are due to this cause. The poisons 
of putrefaction, so easily formed, need only enter into a scratch or 
abrasion of the skin, and they will cause a slight poisoning. This is 
commonly termed having a "sore finger," and is rather unpleasant, 
but is generally soon cured. The best remedy for the evil is washing 
with soap, which acts like a mild disinfectant. 

The investigation of these poisons of putrefaction is, however, by 
no means brought to an end by the results reached thus far. Much 
remains to be done in order to solve the new questions constantly 
arising. So far as practical life is concerned, it is evident that all 
food, be it of vegetable or of animal origin, must be regarded with 
suspicion as soon as the first signs of decomposition become notice- 
able. Especially should great care be taken in times of epidemics. 
Hygiene alone, in kitchen and cellar, is competent to guard against 
the evil ! Translated for the Popular Science Monthly from Daheim. 



EELS are among the mysteries of this world. In spite of the way 
in which Dame Science has persistently poked her nose into most 
things, and has harried them and laid them bare, she has succeeded in 
finding out but little about eels and their mode of life. However, it 
would be rash to go as far in our confession of ignorance as a con- 
temporary recently did, and declare that "we know next to nothing 
of eels beyond the periods of their migration." If we knew nothing 
more than that, we should indeed know but little, as in many places 
eels never migrate at all, but grow fat and flourish from year to year 
in the pond or lake where they were born, without ever leaving it to 
seek the brackish water of estuaries which some authorities deem 
necessary to their existence. The same writer who made the above 
remark asserts that the distinction between " shovel-nosed " and 
" pointed-nosed " eels is purely " fanciful," and accounts for the differ- 


ence by saying that " most fish develop a shovel-nose when they are 
working up-stream." If this were the case, an eel would have a 
shovel-nose in the spring and a sharp nose in the autumn ! Such a 
capability of altering his features would be certainly open to envy ; 
but, unfortunately for this theory, the structure of the two fish is 
materially different, and the single fact that the shovel or broad-nosed 
eel has one hundred and fifteen vertebrae, while his sharp-nosed rela- 
tive only possesses one hundred and thirteen is sufficient to prove the 
fallacy of the idea that the two fish are identical. 

Of fresh-water eels as apart from their mighty cousin the conger, 
there are three distinct kinds the sharp-nosed eel, the broad-nosed or 
frog-mouthed eel, and the snig. Of these three, the sharp-nosed eel 
is both the largest fish and the best eating, though some prefer the 
snig-eel as having a superior flavor. The snig, however, in spite of 
its excellence, has not the same value as the sharp-nosed eel ; for it 
seldom, if ever, attains more than half a pound in weight. The sharp- 
nosed eel, on the contrary, attains an enormous size. One on record 
that was taken in the Medway, not far from Rochester, weighed 
thirty-four pounds, measured six feet in length, and had a girth of 
twenty-five inches. Another eel, taken in Kent, weighed forty pounds 
and measured five feet nine inches. Yarrell speaks of having seen at 
Cambridge the preserved skins of two which had weighed together 
fifty pounds ; the heaviest twenty-seven pounds, the other twenty-three 
pounds. But these instances, though not to be regarded as apocry- 
phal, are still very exceptional ; and a very fair average weight for 
sharp-nosed eels is six pounds. Eels of even ten pounds weight are 
not common, and Mr. Frank Buckland speaks of one of that size as 
being the largest he had ever seen. From time immemorial eels have 
always been much esteemed by epicures, more perhaps in ancient days 
than they are now. Aristotle and Aristophanes both mention eels in 
terms of high praise ; indeed, the former may be considered to have 
known more about eels than the contemporary we have already re- 
ferred to, for he recognized at least two distinct species of eels. By 
the Egyptians eels were regarded with great abhorrence, as the embodi- 
ment of an evil demon ; but other nations did not share the prejudice, 
for the Boeotians, who were celebrated for their eels, used them as 
sacred offerings. Misson, in his " Travels," tells of a vow made by 
the inhabitants of Terracina, a seaport of Italy, when besieged by the 
Turks. They vowed to offer twenty thousand eels a year to St. 
Benedict if he would deliver them from their peril. Whether a fond 
memory of stewed eels touched the saint we do not know, but the siege 
was raised, and the Benedictine monks got their eels every year from 
the virtuous and grateful inhabitants. The Venerable Bede mentions 
the eel-fisheries of Britain in his " History of the Anglo-Saxon Church," 
and an instance is quoted of the magnificence of the famous Arch- 
bishop Thomas a Becket that, when he traveled in France, "he ex- 


pended the large sum of a hundred shillings in a dish of eels." Any- 
one who could now sit down to cope with a dish of eels of the value 
of five pounds would indeed have gastronomic capabilities likely to 
make an alderman die of envy. But, in the eating of eels, excellent 
as they are, it is well to remember the advice given in the ancient 
medical book entitled " Regimen Sanitatis Salernise " : 

" Who knows not physic should be nice and choice 
In eating eels, because they hurt the voice. 
Both eels and cheese, without good store of wine 
Well drunk with them, offend at any time." 

For a long time the most extraordinary theories were accepted 
regarding the birth of young eels. Aristotle believed they sprang 
from the mud (wherein he was not far wrong, as eels deposit their 
spawn in mud and sand) ; Pliny maintained that young eels devel- 
oped from fragments separated from the parents' bodies by rubbing 
against rocks ; others supposed that they proceeded from the carcasses 
of animals ; Helmont declared that they came from May-dew, and 
gave the following receipt for obtaining them : " Cut up two turfs 
covered with May-dew, and lay one upon the other, the grassy side 
inward, and then expose them to the heat of the sun ; in a few hours 
there will spring from them an infinite quantity of eels." Of that 
ancient superstition of one's childhood that horse-hairs cut up and 
deposited in water would turn into eels it is hardly necessary to speak, 
for who can not remember those unpleasant little bottles, erst used for 
medicine, which garnished one's nursery, in which the propagation of 
eels from horse-hair was carried on with the profound faith of child- 
hood? Eels generally shed their spawn in April, and, when not 
hindered, they almost invariably choose an estuary, where they scatter 
the spawn loosely in the sand or soil. But that an annual visit to the 
sea is by no means necessary to their existence is proved by the fact 
that many eels who inhabit inland ponds and lakes never visit the 
sea at all. A gentleman digging in the month of October in the 
gravel-banks of the river Stour found the place " alive with young 
eels, some of them scarcely hatched, at the depth of from five to 
fifteen inches " ; and at one of the meetings of the British Associa- 
tion for the Advancement of Science a member stated that he had 
seen a considerable number of young eels rise up through a small 
opening in the sand at the bottom of a small stream, the Ravens- 
bourne. The greater number of eels, however, do visit the sea, and 
the " passing up " a river of the young eels is one of the most curi- 
ous sights of natural history. This passage of young eels is called 
eel/are on the banks of the Thames ; and it has been thought by 
some that the term elver, which on the banks of the Severn is used 
indiscriminately for all young eels, is a corruption of the word eel- 
fare. In the Thames this eel/are takes place in the spring, in other 


rivers in the summer ; and some idea of the numbers of these young 
eels, each about three inches long, may be gathered from the rec- 
ord of Dr. William Roots, who lived at Kingston in 1832. He cal- 
culated that from sixteen to eighteen hundred passed a given point 
in the space of one minute of time. These baby-eels travel only by 
day and rest by night. In large and deep rivers, where they probably 
find the current strong, they form themselves into a closely compacted 
company, " a narrow but long-extended column," as it has been de- 
scribed ; but in less formidable streams they abandon this arrangement 
and travel, each one more or less at his own sweet will, near the bank. 
The perseverance of these little creatures in overcoming the obstruc- 
tions they may encounter is quite extraordinary. The large flood- 
gates, sometimes twenty feet high, that are to be met with on the 
Thames would be sufficient, one would imagine, to bar the progress 
of a fish the size of a darning-needle. But young eels have a whole- 
some idea that nothing can stop them, consequently nothing does. As 
one writer says, speaking of the way in which they ascend flood-gates 
and such like barriers, " Those which die stick to the posts ; others 
which get a little higher meet with the same fate, until at last a suffi- 
cient layer of them is formed to enable the rest to overcome the diffi- 
culty of the passage." The mortality resulting from such "forlorn 
hopes" greatly helps to account for the difference of number between 
the upward migration of young eels and the return of comparatively 
few down-stream in the autumn. In some places these baby-eels are 
much sought after, and are formed into cakes which are eaten fried. 
On one occasion at Exeter two cart-loads of these little fish, not larger 
than darning-needles, were sold, each cart-load weighing four hundred- 
weight. They were sold for fourpence per pound. The term elver, 
which, as we have said, is in some places indiscriminately used to de- 
note all young eels, in reality only belongs to the " transparent " eels 
which are occasionally found among their more opaque brethren. 
These elvers are so transparent that most of the internal organs and 
the action of the heart and blood-vessels can easily be seen. Little is 
known of them. They are not supposed to form a distinct species, for 
they have been found with the characteristics of both sharp-nosed and 
broad-nosed eels. They have been met with in the rivers in January 
as well as in June, and, even when caught and confined in a tank, they 
in no way grow out of their peculiar transparency ; so they have re- 
mained one of the many mysteries of the eel family till now. They 
are doubly interesting to study on account of this transparency. One 
of the greatest peculiarities possessed by eels is that they have a sec- 
ond heart situated in the extremity of their tails ; of course, in the 
transparent elvers the action of this heart can be more easily noted 
than in the ordinary eels. In all, however, its action is plainly mani- 
fest, especially if the fish has been out of water any time or exhausted, 
a fact known to the street venders of live eels, who therefore are care- 

VOL. XXIX. 17 


ful to cover their eels with sand to hide the caudal pulsations. Dr. 
Marshall Hall, who in 1S31 discovered this secondary heart of the 
eel, savs of it that "the action of this caudal heart is entirely in- 
dependent of the pulmonic heart ; while the latter beats sixty the 
former beats one hundred and sixty times in a minute. It continues 
for a very long time after the influence of the pulmonic heart is en- 
tirely removed." It is probably owing to this caudal heart that the 
eel's tail is so highly sensitive and so strong. Eels can almost use 
their tails like hands ; as, for instance, if confined to a tank or bucket, 
they will grasp the edge with this hand-like tail, and by its help lift 
themselves bodily over. Eels are very clean feeders ; if possible, 
they like their food 'alive, and in all cases it is most essential that it 
should be fresh. Even the slightest taint is too much for their keen 
sense of smell and taste. They are sometimes seen cropping the 
leaves of water-cresses, and other aquatic plants, as they float about 
in the water ; but as a rule their food is altogether animal. They are 
immense devourers of spawn of all kinds of fish. There are certain 
well-known spawning-grounds in the Norfolk Broads, where the roach 
and bream collect in vast numbers to spawn in the spring. To these 
grounds the eels follow in hundreds. Mr. Davies, in his pleasant book 
on " Norfolk Broads and Rivers," speaks of this habit of the eels, 
and adds : " You can hear the eels sucking away at the spawn 
in the weeds ; and they gorge themselves to such an extent that 
they will lie motionless on their backs on the gravel, with distended 
stomachs ; and when caught by the bab they will frequently die dur- 
ing the night, instead of living for days, as an eel will otherwise do 
in a boat." 

There are a good many ways of catching eels ; the commonest, of 
course, being by the eel-bucks which are so often to be met with on 
the Thames. Eel-bucks that are intended to catch the sharp-nosed or 
frog-mouthed eels are set against the stream, and are set at night, as 
those two descriptions of eels feed and run only at night. The snig- 
eel, which is chiefly found in Hampshire, feeds by day ; and fishermen 
have found by experience that snigs are only taken in the eel-bucks if 
they are set with the stream, instead of against it. In Norfolk, where 
immense quantities of eels are caught- every year, the capture is most- 
lv effected bv eel-sets, which are nets set across the stream, and in 
which the sharp-nosed eel is the one almost invariably taken. Besides 
these eel-sets, however, the Norfolk Broadmen also fish for eels with 
" babs," which can hardly be called sport in any sense of the terra. 
The " bab," or " clod," as it is sometimes called, is a number of lob- 
worms threaded on pieces of worsted, and all tied up in a bunch not 
unlike a small mop. The bab is then tied on to the end of a cord at- 
tached to a stout pole. The eel's teeth get entangled in the worsted 
as soon as he attempts to take the bab, and he can then be lifted out 
of the water either into the boat if the angler be in one, or else al- 


lowed to drop off the line into a pail, which the angler should place on 
the bank at a convenient distance from his standing-place. Norfolk 
" babbers " frequently catch four stone weight of eels to a boat per 
night, especially in the spawning-grounds. Night-lines are also much 
used for eels. These are long lines, weighted heavily at each end and 
in the middle, and garnished with baited hooks one yard apart. 
" Sniggling," immortalized by Mr. Burnand in his " Happy Thoughts," 
is one of the most favorite ways of catching eels, and " stichering," a 
Hampshire method, is perhaps one of the most amusing, though the 
sticherer probably catches fewer eels than any other eel-hunter. The 
only apparatus used is an old sickle, worn short and chipped so as to 
present something of a saw-like edge ; this is tied firmly on to a light 
pole about twelve feet long. Armed with these the sticherers betake 
themselves to the water-meadows. In the wide, deep drains used for 
irrigation eels abound, and the object of the sticherer is to thrust the 
sickle under the eel's body, and, with a sudden hoist, to land him on the 
bank, from which he is transferred to the bag. That there is every 
chance, when on a stichering party, of having your eye poked out, or 
your ear sawn off, of course only adds the necessary amount of dan- 
ger and pleasurable excitement, without which all sport is tame. Of 
all forms of eel-capture, however, there is none to compare to spear- 
ing, of which there are two methods. The Norfolkmen mostly use 
"picks" formed of four broad blades, spread out like a fan, between 
which the eels get wedged. These are mounted on long, slender poles, 
to enable them to be thrust into the mud, where the "picker" notices 
the tell-tale bubbles rise which denote the presence of " Anguilla." 
Eel-spearing of this kind takes place chiefly in winter, but there is an- 
other form of this sport called " sun-spearing," which is much sought 
after in the Irish loughs during the months of June and July. In the 
early sunny mornings at that time of the year, when the water seems 
to be principally composed of sunbeams, with a little hydrogen and 
oxygen added, the sun-spearer sallies forth in any little boat he can lay 
his hands on. Standing up in the bows, and, if alone, using his spear 
to propel the boat gently along, he steals over the crystal waters of 
the lough. Presently he sees the gleam of the " silver " eel as he lies 
quietly at length on the sandy bottom. The spearer takes aim ; there 
is a sudden " splitting of the atmosphere," as Mark Twain would say, 
a splash, and either Anguilla comes up writhing on the twelve close-set 
teeth of the sun-spear, or the spearer has taken a header into ten feet 
of water. If the latter is a tyro at the apparently simple art of sun- 
spearing, it may safely be prognosticated that, if he makes acquaint- 
ance with the eel he is after, the meeting will be more likely to take 
place under water than above it. 

Eels have the immense merit in the eyes of all careful people that 
they more than repay any cultivation bestowed upon them. There is 
always a demand for eels, and they never seem to be out of season. 


The London market is chiefly supplied from Holland, the eels being 
brought over alive in welled vessels. Queen Elizabeth gave a free 
mooring to these Dutch skoots, and this privilege has been taken ad- 
vantage of up to the present time. The Dutch eels, however, are 
very much inferior in flavor to the English, and it seems, therefore, 
somewhat of a pity that they should have almost a monopoly of the 
London market. The Norfolk eels, that are caught in such huge quan- 
tities, are nearly all sent to Birmingham and the Black Country. In 
Scotland eels are looked upon with abhorrence, consequently eel-fisher- 
ies may be said not to exist there. In Ireland, however, the eel-fisher- 
ies are enormously valuable ; the eel-weirs on the Erne are said to 
bring in five or six thousand pounds sterling a year. At Ballisodare 
the eel-fisheries were found to greatly increase in value by hanging 
loosely plaited ropes of straw or hay over any obstructions which 
would be likely to bar the course of the elvers up-stream. These 
ropes act as ladders, up which the elvers climb, and the immense 
annual destruction we have already spoken of is averted. Eels cost 
but little to cultivate, never fail to find a good market, and are one of 
the richest and most nutritious forms of food possible to find ; surely, 
therefore, in all questions of cheap food-supply they should receive 
the highest attention. The late Mr. Frank Buckland showed his usual 
good sense when he declared that the English eel-fisheries were not 
half developed, and that they deserved considerably more attention 
than they had hitherto got. That they should soon get this attention 
must be the hope of all those who do not like to see the good gifts 
of Nature contemptuously thrown aside and disregarded. Saturday 



THE United States has had many botanists who, making the best 
use of the immense resources of fresh material which our large 
and virgin country afforded, have made extensive and important addi- 
tions to the scope of their science. None among them, perhaps un- 
less we make a single exception has done better work in this line and 
made more valuable contributions than Dr. George Engelmann. " More 
than fifty years ago," says Dr. Asa Gray, in his sketch of him, " his 
oldest associates in this countrv one of them his survivor dedicated 
to him a monotypical genus of plants, a native of the plains over 
whose borders the young immigrant on his arrival wandered solitary 
and disheartened. Since then the name of Engelmann has, by his 
own resources and authorship, become unalterably associated with the 
buffalo-grass of the plains, the noblest conifers in the Rocky Mount- 
ains, the most stately cactus in the world, and with most of the asso- 


ciated species, as well as with many other plants, of which perhaps 
only the annals of botany may take account." 

George Exgelmaxx was born at Frankfort-on-the-Main, February 
2, 1809, and died in St. Louis, Missouri, February 4, 1884. He came 
of a family of clergymen who had been settled for several generations 
as pastors at Bacharach on the Rhine, and was the eldest of thirteen 
children. His father was director of a school for girls at Frankfort. 
He went through the usual course of gymnasia! instruction in that 
city, and there acquired his taste for scientific studies, which was 
stimulated under the inspiration given by the Leuckenberg Philo- 
sophical Society, a body to which the journey of Rupell, one of its 
members, in Nubia, Kordofan, Arabia Petrsea, and Abyssinia, had 
given considerable renown. In the spring of 1827, when he was 
eighteen years old, he entered the University of Heidelberg, where he 
met as fellow-students Alexander Braun, who afterward became an 
eminent botanist, and Carl Schimper, whose name is associated with 
the early history of phyllotaxy. A close fellowship, which lasted 
through Braun's life, sprang up between him and Braun, and they 
were accustomed, at their evening meetings, to discuss questions of 
the physiology and morphology of plants. Here he also met and 
made friends with Agassiz, who afterward became a brother-in-law of 
Braun's. In 1828 he removed, in consequence of a political incident 
at Heidelberg, to the University of Berlin, whence, after two years of 
residence there, he went to Wiirzburg, and there took the degree of 
Doctor of Medicine in 1831. His graduating thesis, " De Antholysi 
Prodromus" a morphological dissertation on the study of monstrosi- 
ties, illustrated with his own drawings, was an important contribution 
to teratology, and has held a prominent place in the literature of 
morphology. Having been brought under the notice of Goethe, who 
had forty years before published an essay on the morphology of 
plants, only four weeks before his death, that great author testified 
his appreciation of the mastery which the young botanist had attained 
of the subject by offering to present to him the unpublished notes and 
sketches which he had accumulated. Engelmann's original manu- 
script of the thesis, with his drawings, is now preserved in the library 
of the Herbarium of Harvard University. 

This pamphlet, written in Latin, and that not the most classic, has 
been compared, in " Nature," by Mr. Maxwell F. Masters, with the 
more elaborate " lemens de Teratologic Vegetale " of Moquin-Tan- 
don, written nearly ten years later, or in 1841. Moquin's work, says 
Mr. Masters, " is written in a style which even a foreigner can read 
with pleasure. Its method, too, is clear and symmetrical ; but when 
we compare the two works from a philosophical point of view, and 
consider that the one was a mere college essay, while the other was the 
work of a professed botanist, we must admit that Engelmann's treatise, 
so far as it goes, affords evidence of a deeper insight into the nature 


and causes of the deviations from the ordinary conformation of plants 
than does that of Moquin." 

Engelmann spent a part of 1832 in Paris, in the study of medicine 
and science, along with Braun and Agassiz. Some of his relatives 
had determined to make investments in land in the Mississippi Val- 
ley, and one of them had settled in Illinois, near St. Louis. The 
others invited him to visit the country, as an agent for them, and he 
accepted the proposition, being moved to do so, one of his biographers 
suggests, by the expectation of finding in America an interesting field 
of botanical research. He sailed from Bremen in September, 1832, 
landed in Baltimore, after a voyage of six weeks, visited Philadelphia, 
where he made the acquaintance of the botanist Nuttall, and arrived 
at a friend's farm in Missouri in the middle of the ensuing winter. He 
resided on the farm of his uncle Fritz, near Belleville, Illinois, till the 
spring of 1835, when he undertook a horseback-journey through 
Southwestern Illinois, Missouri, and Arkansas, down to Louisiana. 
After nearly dying of fever during the summer in the swamps of 
Arkansas, he returned to St. Louis, then a frontier town of eight 
thousand inhabitants, and began the practice of medicine there in 
December. He combined with his medical practice, which was very 
successful, and became so extensive as to make him one of the leading 
physicians of St. Louis, botanical investigations as a side pursuit. He 
made collections which he sent, with his own scientific descriptions, 
to the European museums, and also for his own herbarium. It was 
through one of h is herbariums, which Dr. Gray examined in Berlin, 
that that botanist became acquainted with Dr. Engelmann's studies ; 
and when the latter passed through New York on his return from his 
marriage-journey to Kreuznach, in 1840, Dr. Gray embraced the oppor- 
tunity of making his acquaintance, and formed with him a life-long 

Dr. Engelmann made a second botanical excursion south, to Ar- 
kansas in 1837. His first botanical work, " A Monography of North 
American Cuscutinea^," or dodders, was published in 1842, in the 
" American Journal of Science," and made him known throughout the 
scientific world. Till this time only one species of dodder indigenous 
to the United States was known. Engelmann's monograph treated of 
fourteen species, all found within the Mississippi Valley, or east of it. 
A more systematic treatise, published in the " Transactions of the 
St. Louis Academy of Sciences," in 1859, after investigation of the 
whole genus in America and Europe, gave the characteristics of sev- 
enty-seven species. 

The botanical chapter in the report of Colonel Doniphan's expe- 
dition of 1846 and 1847 to New Mexico, published by the Government 
in 1848, was prepared by Dr. Engelmann from material furnished by 
Dr. Wislizenus, his colleague in the medical profession, who was a 
member of the expedition. 


In 1849 Dr. Engelmann published, in the "Memoranda of the 
American Academy of Arts and Sciences," the " Plantae Fendlerianae," 
thereby, says his biographer in the St. Louis " Universe," " drawing 
from obscurity another German-American botanist, August Fendler." 
Fendier and he had become acquainted on a governmental expedition 
to the Rocky Mountains, to which the former was attached as engi- 
neer. He was afterward engaged for two years, upon Engelmann's 
recommendation, in classifying and arranging the Henry Shaw col- 
lections of plants. He traveled in the Rocky Mountains, California, 
Mexico, Central America, and Brazil, and died in the Island of Trini- 
dad in 1882. His name, the " Universe " adds, can not be forgotten 
in the history of the American flora. A number of plants are named 
after him, among them one of the handsomest cactuses, the Cereus 

Dr. Engelmann's work upon the cactus family is styled by Dr. Gray, 
in the " American Journal of Science," most extensive and important, 
as well as particularly difficult, and his authority the highest. " He 
essentially for the first time established the arrangement of these 
plants upon floral and carpological characters." This work was begun 
in the report of the Doniphan expedition, and was continued, by his 
account in the " American Journal of Science," in 1852, of the giant 
cactus of the Gila ( Cereus giganteus) and an allied species ; " by his 
synopsis of the Cactacece of the United States, published in the 
* Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences,' 1856 ; 
and by his two illustrated memoirs upon the Southern and Western 
species, one contributed to the fourth volume of the series of * Pacific 
Railroad Expedition Reports,' the other to Emory's ' Report on the 
Mexican Boundary Survey.' He had made large preparations for a 
greatly needed revision of at least the North American Cactacece. 
But although his collections and sketches will be indispensable to the 
future monographer, very much knowledge of this difficult group of 
plants is lost by his death. Upon two other peculiarly American 
groups of plants, very difficult of elucidation in herbarium specimens, 
Yucca and Agave, Dr. Engelmann may be said to have brought his 
work up to the time. Nothing of importance is yet to be added to 
what he modestly styles ' Notes on the Genus Yucca? published in the 
third volume of the * Transactions of the St. Louis Academy,' 1873, 
and not much to ' Notes on Agave ' illustrated by photographs, in- 
cluded in the same volume and published in 1875." 

Other special works mentioned by Dr. Gray are those on Jitncus, 
in the second volume of the " Transactions of the St. Louis Academy " ; 
Euphorbia, in the fourth volume of the "Pacific Railroad Reports," and 
in the " Botany of the Mexican Boundary " ; Sagittaria and its allies ; 
Isoetes / the North American Eoranthacece / Sparganium / certain 
groups of Gentiana ; and some other genera. " Of the highest inter- 
est, and among the best specimens of Dr. Engelmann's botanical work, 


are his various papers upon the 'American Oaks' and the Coniferce, 
published in ' Transactions of the St. Louis Academy ' and elsewhere, 
the results of Ions-continued and most conscientious study. The same 
must be said of his persevering study of the North American vines, of 
which he at length recognized and characterized a dozen species ex- 
cellent subjects for his nice discrimination, and now becoming of no 
small importance to grape-growers, both in this country and in Eu- 
rope. Nearly all that we know scientifically of our species and forms 
of Yitis is directly due to Dr. Enselmann's investigations." The 
list of his papers published in " Coulter's Botanical Gazette " for 
May, 18S4, which is not quite complete, contains about a hundred 

Dr. Engelmann made several journeys of considerable length in 
the interest of science, or for geographical observation. Two of them 
were to the Rocky Mountains and Colorado, and New Mexico ; a 
longer tour was to the Appalachian Mountains in Tennessee and North 
Carolina ; and a third, in 1880, to the Pacific coast and Oregon, where 
" he saw for the first time in their native home the plants described 
thirty years previous." 

Dr. Engelmann's meteorological observations constitute another 
important feature of his scientific work. They were begun as soon as 
he had established himself in St. Louis, and were kept up unintermit- 
tingly from New-Year's-day of 1836, to February 2, 1884 two days 
before his death or during a period of forty-eight years. He visited 
his instruments regularly and systematically, every morning at seven 
o'clock, at noon, and at nine o'clock in the evening ; and " even in the 
last week he was seen sweeping a path through the snow in his garden 
to reach his maximum and minimum thermometers." His last publi- 
cation was a digest of the thermometrical part of these observations. 
In offering this paper to the St. Louis Academy of Sciences at nearly 
the last meeting of that body which he attended, he apologized for 
not waiting till the half-century had been completed before present- 
ing his results, saying that they could not be appreciably different 
after two or three years more. He had been endeavoring to discover 
some law eroverninor the weather, but had failed to do so. A member 
of the Academy expressed the hope that the half -century would be 
completed. Dr. Engelmann replied that he had some misgivings on 
the subject. 

Dr. Engelmann was known, through his life in St. Louis, as a pub- 
lic-spirited citizen, who always had the interests of the town unselfish- 
ly at heart. He also showed a practical interest in the efforts of the 
European peoples to gain their freedom ; and, when the revolutions 
broke out in 184S, he became the head of an organization which was 
formed at St, Louis to assist them. He took part, in 1836, in the 
organization of the "Western Academy of Science," which, coming 
before the times were ripe for such an organization, had only a short 


life. He was the first president, and served in several subsequent 
terms as president, of the " Academy of Science of St. Louis," organ- 
ized in 1856 ; he always had something of interest to communicate at 
its meetings ; and, under the inspiration he gave it, it became a living 
and active body, though not large in numbers. 

Dr. Engelmann with his family visited Europe in 1808, when his 
son entered upon the pursuit of his medical studies at Berlin. Again, 
a few months after the death of Mrs. Engelmann, suffering from ill 
health, he went to Germany in the summer of 1883, seeking the bene- 
fits of a change of scene. He returned home, having gained a consid- 
erable accession of strength. His death was finally accelerated by a 

sudden cold. 

His companions, says the " Universe," " will never forget his pluck 

and energy, his enthusiasm and diligence, and the geniality and atten- 
tiveness shown toward all of them." He was accustomed always to 
re-examine established suppositions in order to receive new light 
through newly discovered facts. In all his doings he was very deter- 
mined ; "he had no great esteem for speculation, but relied only upon 
facts gained by hard and strenuous study. He was a man of strict 
scientific truth. He could examine a plant again and again in all the 
stages of its growth, microscopically and chemically, before he came 
to a conclusion, and what he then wrote was the accurate result of his 
painful observations, without any hypothetical suppositions. "Noth- 
ing," says Dr. Gray, " escaped his attention ; he drew with facility ; 
and he methodically secured his observations by notes and sketches, 
available for his own after-use and for that of his correspondents. But 
the lasting impression which he has made upon North American bota- 
ny is due to his wise habit of studying his subjects in their systematic 
relations, and of devoting himself to a particular genus or group of 
plants (generally the more difficult) until he had elucidated it as com- 
pletely as lay in his power. In this way all his work was made to tell 

Not very many of those, Dr. Gray adds in another part of his 
sketch, " who could devote their whole time to botany have accom- 
plished as much " as did this doctor in practice, who could give it only 
the time he could spare from his duties as a physician. " It need not 
be said," Dr. Gray continues, "and yet perhaps it should not pass 
unrecorded, that Dr. Engelmann was appreciated by his fellow-botan- 
ists both at home and abroad ; that his name is upon the rolls of most 
of the societies devoted to the investigation of Nature ; that he was 
1 everywhere the recognized authority in those departments of his 
favorite science which had most interested him ' ; and that, personally 
one of the most affable and kindly of men, he was as much beloved as 
respected by those who knew him." 




TTTHATEVER we may fail to see 
VV nowadays when we take up a 
newspaper, there is one thing certain 
to meet onr eyes on the first page, 
with a continuation probably on other 
pages. We refer, of course, to the per- 
petually recurring accounts of strikes 
and other labor troubles. If we do 
not see our way out of these difficul- 
ties, it is not for want of having our 
attention repeatedly and powerfully di- 
rected to them ; nor is it because our 
interests are not seriously concerned 
in the matter. Yet we are not aware 
that recent discussion has thrown any 
important light either upon the cause 
of the troubles or upon the method of 
their cure. In this there is room for 
the application of scientific principles. 
All the facts that have any bearing on 
the case require to be carefully gath- 
ered. We should ask not only what 
are the open pretensions of the parties 
to the struggle, but what are their se- 
cret thoughts and purposes. "We fear 
that there is a great deal of working in 
the dark, simply from lack of informa- 
tion as to "bottom facts. 1 ' Platforms 
and manifestoes never tell the whole 
truth. They may formulate a tempo- 
rary modus vivendi; but they never 
state ultimate intentions. Consequent- 
ly, as long as we confine our attention 
to these, we are liable to continual mis- 
understandings. For example, some 
are disposed to think that the legal es- 
tablishment of boards of arbitration 
would meet the present difficulties. 
The idea appears to us, on the other 
hand, absurd. Those who adopt it do 
so, no doubt, on the strength of the 
declarations made on either side of a 
desire for a reasonable settlement of 
disputes. We reject the idea, because 
we suspect that no definite sense can 

be attached to the word u reasonable " 
or the word " equitable," as used in the 
public statements either of labor unions 
or of the great employers of labor. 
Each side has its own secret tendency, 
and until we get at that we are all in 
the dark. Meanwhile it seems certain 
that neither capitalist nor workman 
would consent to have a course dic- 
tated to him by any form of official 
authority. There is no getting over 
the homely maxim that everybody 
knows his own business best; and we 
can hardly understand how any rational 
man can bring himself to believe that 
any large business could be run, against 
the judgment of its head, upon lines 
laid down by outsiders. Still more 
difficult is it to understand how, if the 
workmen were dissatisfied with the de- 
cision of an official board, they could 
be forced to respect that decision. 

The proposition simply affords an- 
other example of the readiness with 
which in these days government or 
legislative interference is invoked for 
the settlement of difficulties. What 
common sense or the instinct of justice 
between man and man can not, or ap- 
parently can not, effect, that the Legis- 
lature, in its infinite justice and wis- 
dom, is asked to undertake. Such 
efforts tend only to obscure the real 
elements of the situation. We may be 
mistaken, but it seems to us that the 
position taken to-day by the laboring 
classes (to use the common expression) 
involves the principle that free com- 
petition for wealth between man and 
man in society should not be allowed. 
Every intelligent man, whatever his 
status in society, would allow that were 
all the wealth in the world to be redis- 
tributed equally to-day, a year would 
not elapse, under the regime of free 
competition, before there would again 



be marked inequalities of fortune, while, 
in ten years, there would be million- 
aires at one end of the scale and beg- 
gars at the other. This, we believe, is 
what many object to, though they do 
not always avow it to themselves. The 
cry seems to go up from the multitude, 
" Save us from the strong man, or we 
shall take the law into our own hands 
and make an end of his wealth, if not 
of him!" The common idea of the 
capitalist is that he is a man who ab- 
sorbs into his own personality and pos- 
sessions all the richest juices of the la- 
boring man's organization. The work- 
ing-man toils, and the capitalist reaps 
all the best fruits of his toil, leaving to 
the former a mere subsistence, and a 
more or less precarious one at that. A 
fact, however, that is generally lost 
sight of is that, but for the capitalist, 
labor would not be so productive as it 
is. The share taken by the capitalist 
is not deducted from a total product 
which would equally have existed had 
he never appeared upon the scene with 
his experience, his talent for direction, 
his enterprise, his pecuniary resources, 
but from a product in large part prob- 
ably due to his personal usefulness. 
"What an army under a skillful general, 
and with a well-supplied commissariat, 
can accomplish, is something very dif- 
ferent from what it can accomplish 
without any superior leadership. This 
obvious truth should certainly be taken 
into account in striking the balance be- 
tween the capitalist and those whose 
labor he employs. 

If, then, the secret aspiration of the 
laboring class, or at least of a large 
portion of it, is, to be protected against 
the competition of men of subtiler 
brains and stronger resolution, the 
question may be asked, What is the 
secret thought of the capitalist class, 
the men who have these superior re- 
sources, or whose fathers had them, 
and who consequently rule in the in- 
dustrial world? If it is true that labor 
would not be so productive as it is, that 

wealth would not be created in the 
same quantity, but for the organizing 
power of the captains of industry, it is 
also true that all wealth is a social 
product, requiring a concurrence of ef- 
forts to produce it, and a social medium 
to give it its value. What would the 
wealth of the Indies have been to Rob- 
inson Crusoe on his desert isle? His 
man Friday was a greater fortune to 
him than would have been the riches 
of the Rothschilds. These considera- 
tions suffice to show that, in whatever 
light the holders of great wealth may 
regard themselves, they should regard 
themselves not as mere irresponsible 
giants of finance, at liberty to toss 
about millions as it may please their 
vanity or their ambition, but as bound 
to lives of social usefulness. The secret 
thought, we fear, of too many very rich 
men is, that they are absolutely irre- 
sponsible to society, and quite at liberty 
to dismiss from their minds every other 
aim than that of adding to their already 
great possessions. Their secret prayer 
would be, to be delivered from all bond- 
age to public opinion, so that they 
might pursue an unchecked career in 
gratifying their selfish ambition. Crip- 
ple or debauch public opinion, and the 
watering of stocks, the making of cor- 
ners, and all the rest of the diabolical 
jugglery of the modern financial world 
can be carried on without apprehen- 
sion, as without a qualm. But public 
opinion, we trust, is not going to be 
permanently crippled or debauched. 
True, there is an altogether inordinate 
social admiration of great wealth, as 
Mr. Spencer has forcibly pointed out; 
but the feeling, on the whole, is grow- 
ing, that great wealth means propor- 
tionate social responsibility. It is not 
to be concluded from this that the chief 
business of the capitalist is to endow 
hospitals, libraries, or universities. By 
no means ; it is well that every one in 
the community should contribute to 
these things according to his ability, 
and realize for himself the blessedness 



of giving to worthy objects. The capi- 
talist could not render a much worse 
service to the community than to take 
entirely off other people's shoulders 
burdens that it is best every one should 
bear in some degree. No, but the capi- 
talist should certainly employ his great 
advantages and resources in bringing 
the conditions of a really human life 
within the reach of ever - increasing 
numbers of human beings. It does not 
do to regard our fellow-men as mere ci- 
phers, as pawns on the chess-board of 
life, to be used or sacrificed according 
to the exigencies of the game. Mr. 
Gladstone was greatly laughed at some 
years ago by the cynical school so large- 
ly represented in English journalism, 
particularly in weekly journalism, be- 
cause he had used the argument that, 
after all, the voters whom he proposed 
to enfranchise were " our own flesh and 
blood." For all that, the truth he hint- 
ed at is a good one to remember. Cer- 
tainly it is a bad one to forget; and 
terrible trouble may come of carrying 
forgetfulness of it too far. Our object 
in this brief article has been mainly to 
express the opinion that much good 
would come of greater frankness on 
both sides in the now pending labor 
contests. If both sides would really 
talk business, which they can only do 
by expressing their real thoughts and 
purposes, there would be more hope 
of a permanent reconciliation. We be- 
lieve that, when it came to the rub, 
thousands of the working class would 
shrink from pronouncing against the 
regime of free competition ; while the 
holders of wealth would certainly be 
slow to formulate the doctrine of social 


A little manual of social proprieties, 
published under the name of "Dont! " 
has obtained a wide circulation ; and, as 
its negative precepts are inspired by 
much good sense and good taste, we 

have no doubt the tiny book will prove 
of real value. But, while good social 
habits are well worth forming, good 
intellectual ones are at least of equal 
importance; and it occurs to us that 
there is ample room for a manual that, 
in a series of brief and pithy sentences, 
would place people on their guard 
against the most obvious intellectual 
errors and vices. Possibly the objec- 
tion might be raised that, while every- 
body wants to be cured of his or her 
social solecisms (if the expression may 
be permitted), none so little desire to 
be cured of intellectual faults as those 
who are most subject to them. Who, 
it might be asked, applies the moral 
denunciations of the pulpit to himself? 
Who would apply to himself the cau- 
tions of your proposed manual ? Grant- 
ed, we reply, that it is easier to bring 
home to the individual conscience the 
sin of eating with a knife than the sin 
of reasoning falsely or acting unjust- 
ly, we should still be glad to see a tell- 
ing compilation of the most needed 
"Dont's" for the use of all and singu- 
lar who make any profession of an in- 
dependent use of their intellects. Some 
of the maxims would be commonplace ; 
but then the object would not be to lay 
down novel truths so much as to en- 
force old ones. Let us throw out a 
few at random, by way of a start : 
Don't think that what you don't know 

is not worth knowing. 
Don't conclude that, because you can't 
understand a thing, nobody can un- 
derstand it. 
Don't despise systems of thought that 
other men have elaborated because 
you can not place yourself at once at 
their point of view. 
Don't interpret things too much accord- 
ing to your own likes and dislikes. 
The world was not made to please 
anybody in particular, or to confirm 
anybody's theories. 
Don't imagine that, because a thing is 
plain to you, it ought to be equally so 
to everybody else. 



Don't insist on making things out sim- 
pler than they really are ; on the 
other hand 

Don't affect far-fetched and over-elabo- 
rate explanations. 

Don't be overwise. "Why should you 
make a fool of yourself? 

Don't imagine that anything is gained 
by juggling with words or by evad- 
ing difficulties. 

Don't refuse to change the point of 
view of a question, if requested by 
an opponent to do so. A true con- 
clusion can not be invalidated by any 
legitimate process of argument. 

Don't be inordinately surprised when a 
man who knows quite as much as you 
do on a given subject, and perhaps a 
little more, does not agree with you 
in your conclusions thereon. Try 
the effect of being surprised that you 
don't agree with him. 

Don't keep on hand too many cut-and- 
dried theories. A foot-rule is a con- 
venient thing for a carpenter to car- 
ry about with him ; but a man who 
is always " sizing up " other people's 
opinions by a private rule of his own 
is apt to be a bore. 

Don't be in a hurry to attribute bad 
motives or dishonest tactics to an op- 
ponent. Try to get an outside view 
of your own motives and tactics. 

Don't refuse to hold your judgment 
in suspense when the evidence is not 
sufficient to warrant a conclusion. 

Don't imagine that, because you have got 
a few new phrases at your tongue's 
end, yon have all the stock-in-trade 
of a philosopher, still less that you 
are a philosopher. 

Don't try to express your meaning till 
you have made it clear to yourself. 

Don't argue for the sake of arguing; 
always have some practical and use- 
ful object in view, or else hold your 

Don't grudge imparting what you know, 
and do it with simplicity. 

Don't prosecute any study out of idle 
curiosity or vanity. If you have time 

for intellectual work, be a serious and 

honest worker. 
Don't be too eager to "get credit" for 

what you do. 
Don't undervalue the work of others. 

Here we have a score or so of max- 
ims of the prohibitive kind, and the 
number might be indefinitely increased. 
There is no doubt the intellectual prog- 
ress of the world might be hastened, 
and the good order and harmony of so- 
ciety greatly improved, if these precepts 
and others like unto them were more 
carefully observed. Whether we get an- 
other " Don't " manual or not, sensible 
people should think of these things, and 
try to bring their intellectual habits at 
least up to a level with their social ones. 



Comparative Literature. By Hutcheson 
Macaulay Posnett, M. A., LL. D., 
F. L. S., Barrister-at-Law, Professor of 
Classics and English Literature, Uni- 
versity College, Auckland, New Zealand, 
author of "The Historical Method. 1 ' 
New York : D. Appleton & Co. 1885. 

This is in many ways a remarkable book. 
For some years, not many to be sure, a cer- 
tain number of critics have been urging: the 
necessity of applying to the study of litera- 
ture the principles of scientific treatment 
which has brought forth rich fruit from 
many seemingly arid sources. While they 
have been apostrophizing vaguely on the 
general need of some such change, and gen- 
erally with but little apparent success, we 
have in this volume tangible proof of the 
good results that the method can produce 
in competent hands. Naturally enough, the 
mere novelty of the theory excites angry 
surprise ; then, too, the venerable habit of 
regarding literature and science as two irrec- 
oncilable poles of thought has opposed the 
recognition of the inevitable advance of sci- 
ence into every department of investigation, 
and it has been held it is still held that 
genius is something which defies analysis 
as it defies definition ; that it was only neces- 
sary to have a creative mind to create mas- 
terpieces ; and that to attempt to show how 



any great man in the past wrote, what in- 
fluences controlled and directed him, was 
mere presumptuous extravagance. We are 
also told that literature is made up of 
beauty, and is only to be enjoyed ; students 
of its principles are carefully warned off 
from its treasures. Yet one might as well 
tell a botanist that flowers are only to be 
enjoyed, or a mineralogist that gems exist 
but for the purpose of evoking admiration ; 
the sciences of these imaginary men would 
survive such impossible advice, and the ex- 
istence of these sciences, it may be well to 
notice, has not yet tended to diminish the 
interest or delight in the objects with which 
they are concerned. 

If, then, the reasonableness of some form 
of the scientific study of literature may be 
acknowledged, this book, which contains a 
serious application of the results of socio- 
logical investigation to various early litera- 
tures, is well worthy of attention. The con- 
ditions of early society have been ascertained 
by long and careful investigation ; the com- 
parative study of its beginnings has been 
facilitated by observing phenomena still 
existent among rude races, and in this vol- 
ume Mr. Posnett applies to letters the up- 
shot of these studies. Naturally, it is to the 
literature of Greece that he turns with es- 
pecial interest, for, besides its importance 
to all later civilizations, it bears distinctly 
the marks of autochthonous growth. Inas- 
much as society developed from the com- 
munal form of the clan into the fuller ex- 
pression of individuality, it becomes im- 
portant to examine the growth of literature 
by the light of these discoveries, as this au- 
thor has done, and the result is most grati- 
fying. It is obvious that any one who ap- 
proaches Greek territory with such inten- 
tions is sure to stir up a hornets' nest. 
Anything that tends to show that the sacred 
spirit of Hellas has grown up under con- 
ditions that may be explained by studying 
other races is held to lay profane fingers 
on a carefully guarded art. Mr. Andrew 
Lang has tasted some of the wrath of zealous 
scholars who have not fancied his proof that 
the stone age of Greece was like the stone 
age of every other race ; and it is hard to 
conceive the miserable fate that awaits Mr. 
Posnett for daring to compare the early 
Doric choral dances to the buffalo-dance of 

the North American Indians. Yet he has 
done this ; and, moreover, he has shown 
how the customary belief of clans in in- 
herited guilt and in vicarious sacrifice sur- 
vived in the plays of ^Eschylus and Sopho- 
cles, only to disappear in those of Euripi- 
des with the growth of individuality. His 
proof of the limitations of the Greek ideas 
through these bonds is most valuable. Here 
at last we have something like solid ground 
to take the place of a priori hypothesis. 
To enforce his points he has brought togeth- 
er abundant testimony from the early He- 
brew, Sanskrit, Persian, Chinese, Japanese, 
Arabic, and other literatures, which is the 
only way in which this vast subject can be 
properly studied. The study of Greek liter- 
ature alone has led to extravagant notions 
of the miraculous force of genius ; by ex- 
amining all the testimony, though the task 
is an arduous one, sounder ideas will prevail. 
Space is lacking for even a statement of 
all that is contained in this excellent book, 
but it may be said that every student of 
literature will find his reward in mastering 
its pages. No one will agree with every- 
thing that Mr. Posnett says, but whoever 
learns to apply to the foundation of litera- 
ture the light obtained from the study of 
contemporary society may be sure that he 
is on the right path. That is the whole 
secret: to study literature as but a part 
of man's development, not as a separate, 
divinely inspired entity a mysterious thing 
created by incomprehensible genius. 

Hunting Trips of a Ranchman. By Theo- 
dore Roosevelt. New York: G. P. 
Putnam's Sons. Pp. 347. Price, $3.50. 

The character of this book is further 
described by its sub-title, " Sketches of Sport 
on the Northern Cattle-Plains " ; and this 
makes it appropriate to begin the story 
with a description of those plains and their 
for the time at least great industry. 
They lie in the basin of the Little Missouri 
River, and " stretch from the rich wheat- 
farms of Central Dakota to the Rocky Mount- 
ains, and southward to the Black Hills and 
the Big Horn Chain, thus including all of 
Montana, Northern Wyoming, and extreme 
Western Dakota." The region is a nearly 
treeless one, of light rainfall, cut up by 
streams of the most capricious character, 
diversified with deserts of alkali and sage- 



brush, prairies, rolling hills, and fantasti- 
cally carved and colored " bad lands." The 
country was won from the Indians only 
about half a dozen years ago, and was al- 
most immediately occupied by the cattle- 
herders, owning from hundreds to tens of 
thousands of head, and occupying land of 
extent to correspond, with not very exactly 
defined boundaries and no legal titles. With 
them came the now famous cowboys, of 
whom and their habits Mr. Roosevelt gives 
a very interesting description. The home- 
life of thi3 wild region, which is, of course, 
usually a bachelor's life, with cowboys for 
neighbors, and rough enough, forms the 
subject of a lively running sketch, passing 
from topic to topic, after which the reader 
is introduced to the game in its several 
kinds waterfowl, grouse, jack-rabbits, wild 
turkeys, and the larger animals. The white- 
tailed deer is the best known and most 
widely distributed of all the large game of 
the United States, and the kind which un- 
der any sort of decent treatment is proba- 
bly likely to stay longest at large among us. 
These deer have the capacity of living in a 
region even when it has become thickly 
settled, and making themselves at home 
among tame cattle, and still exist in nearly 
every State. They "are very canny, and 
know perfectly well what threatens danger 
and what does not; keep themselves con* 
cealed in the densest thickets of the river- 
bottoms, and at the first intimation of dan- 
ger steal off noiselessly almost from under 
the eyes of the hunter." Mr. Roosevelt tells 
of the best ways of killing them, but our 
interest is in the ways they have of keeping 
from being killed, in which we hope they 
will improve. The black-tail deer, more 
important animals in some respects, in their 
unsophisticated state are very easy to ap- 
proach, but a short experience of danger on 
their part changes their character, and when 
hunters are often afoot, they become "as 
wild and wary as may be." They would be 
extremely difficult to hunt except for their 
inordinate curiosity, which gives them the 
habit of turning round every once in a while, 
stopping, and looking at their pursuer. An- 
telopes, or prong-horns, are also very wary 
game, but may be betrayed by their morbid 
curiosity or their unhappy liability to be 
thrown into a panic. No other plains game, 

except the big-horn, is as shy and sharp- 
sighted ; " and if a man is once seen by the 
game the latter will not let him get out of 
sight again, unless it decides to go off at a 
gait that soon puts half a dozen miles be- 
tween them. It shifts its position so as to 
keep the hunter continually in sight, . . . 
and after it has once caught a glimpse of 
the foe, the latter might as well give up 
all hopes of getting the game." The big- 
horn, or mountain sheep, "are extremely 
wary and cautious animals, and are plentiful 
in but few places." They are almost the 
only kind of game on whose haunts cattle 
do not trespass. They live on the rocks, 
and are not annoyed by rival claimants to 
their sterile estates. Their movements are 
not light and graceful like those of the an. 
telopes, but they have a marvelous agility 
which proceeds " from sturdy strength and 
wonderful command over iron sinews and 
muscles." There is probably no animal in 
the world their superior in climbing - ; and 
" the way that one will vanish over the 
roughest and most broken ground is a per- 
petual surprise to any one that has hunted 
them." Regarding the buffalo, Mr. Roose- 
velt observes that its rapid extermination 
" affords an excellent instance of how a 
race that has thriven and multiplied for 
ages under conditions of life to which it 
has slowly fitted itself by a process of 
natural selection continued for countless 
generations, may succumb at once when 
these surrounding conditions are varied by 
the introduction of one or more new ele- 
ments, immediately becoming the chief forces 
with which it has to contend in the struggle 
for life." These new elements are the bar- 
barity of civilized man in hunting the buf- 
falo, and the greed of the cattle-herders for 
its pasture-lands ; and their presence has 
made the other conditions and habits which 
were most favorable to the preservation of 
the animal to contribute to its extinction. 
Happily, " events have developed a race of 
this species, known either as the wood or 
mountain buffalo, which is acquiring, and 
has already largely acquired, habits widely 
different from those of the others of its 
kind. It is found in the wooded and most 
precipitous portions of the mountains, in- 
stead of on the level and open plains ; it 
goes singly or in small parties, instead of in 



huge herds ; and it is more agile and infinite- 
ly more wary than its prairie cousin. The 
formation of this race is due solely to the 
extremely severe process of natural selec- 
tion that has been going on among the buf- 
falo-herds for the last sixty or seventy 
years." Elk were formerly plentiful all over 
the plains, but they have been driven off 
the ground nearly as completely as the buf- 
falo. They are still, however, very com- 
mon in the dense woods that cover the Rocky 
Mountains and the other great Western 
chains ; but they are unfortunately one of 
the animals seemingly doomed to total de- 
struction at no distant date. Already their 
range has shrunk to far less than one half 
its former size. " Ranged in the order of 
the difficulty with which they are approached 
and slain," says Mr. Roosevelt, " plains 
game stand as follows : big-horn, antelope, 
white-tail, black-tail, elk, and buffalo. But, 
as regards the amount of manly sport fur- 
nished by the chase of each, the white-tail 
should stand at the bottom of the list, and 
the elk and black-tail abreast of the ante- 
lope. Other things being equal, the length 
of an animal's stay in the land, when the 
arch foe of all lower forms of animal life 
has made his appearance therein, depends 
upon the difficulty with which he is hunted 
and slain. But other influences have to be 
taken into account. The big-horn is shy 
and retiring; very few, compared to the 
whole number, will be killed ; and yet the 
others vanish completely. Apparently they 
will not remain where they are hunted and 
disturbed. With antelope and white -tail 
this does not hold ; they will cling to a place 
far more tenaciously, even if often har- 
assed. The former, being the more con- 
spicuous and living in such open ground, is 
apt to be more persecuted ; while the white- 
tail, longer than any other animal, keeps 
its place in the land in spite of the swinish 
game-butchers. ... All game animals rely 
upon eyes, ears, and nose to warn them of 
the approach of danger ; but the amount of 
reliance placed on each sense varies greatly 
in different species." 

The Influence of Sewerage and Water- 

By Erwin F. Smith. Pp. 84. 
This paper was read at the Sanitary 
Convention at Ypsilanti, Michigan, July, 

1885, and is reprinted from a supplement 
to the " Annual Report of the Michigan State 
Board of Health for 1885." As the author 
himself states, nc effort has been made to 
present anything new in this article, but he 
has rather sought to place, in a form suit- 
able and convenient for study and compari- 
son, facts and data otherwise not readily 
accessible. It will seem somewhat surpris- 
ing at first sight that so much of the mate- 
rial used is from foreign sources ; yet this 
could not be avoided, as the writer forcibly 
points out, for, although there is no lack of 
so-called statistics in our own country, yet 
reliable and therefore valuable mortuary 
data are obtainable from but few localities. 
While we can not, in our space, mention all 
the questions and matters touched upon in 
this pamphlet, we would call especial atten- 
tion to the charts appended to it. An ex- 
amination of them ought to be sufficient to 
convince the most skeptical as to the direct 
relation an improvement in the system of 
sewerage and the water-supply of a city 
holds to the decrease in the death-rate of 
its inhabitants from certain diseases. 

In Chart I, which records the deaths 
from typhoid fever to each 10,000 inhabit- 
ants before, during, and since the introduc- 
tion of sewerage and water-supply, Munich, 
in Germany, shows for the years 1851 to 
1859 twenty-one deaths from this disease 
to each 10,000 inhabitants, while for the 
period from 1874 to 1884 the rate has 
fallen to six and three tenths per 10,000. 

Another chart, designed to show the 
protective influence of sewerage and water- 
supply in the cholera epidemic of 1865-'66, 
is divided into two groups. The cities 
enumerated in Group I were abundantly 
supplied with good water, and in most cases 
were also well sewered ; those in Group II 
were incompletely sewered, or entirely desti- 
tute of modern sewers, and very dirty ; their 
water-supply was scant or open to infection. 

In the first group, where we find, among 
other cities, New York and Brooklyn, the 
former shows 12 - 8 deaths per each 10,000 
inhabitants, the latter 16*5. 

Memphis, Tennessee, which is placed in 
the second group, shows 268 deaths from 
cholera per each 10,000 of its population. 
St. Louis has 173*0 as its record ; while Chi- 
cago, which in this group makes the best 


2 73 

showing, stands charged with 43*7 for every 
10,000 of its inhabitants. 

Figures like these themselves furnish an 
impressive sermon. 

The Epic Songs of Russia. By Isabel 
Florence Hapgood. With an Intro- 
ductory Note by Professor Francis J. 
Child. New York: Charles Scribner's 
Sons. Pp. 359. Price, $2.50. 

What are here called " Epic Songs " are 
really the folk-songs, or songs of the com- 
mon people, whose only literary existence 
is in the form of copies taken down from 
the mouths of some of the singers, after they 
have been handed down by oral tradition 
for, it may be, hundreds of years. Besides 
the pleasure to be got from the works them- 
selves as stories and poetry, the perusal of 
them, as Professor Child says, is well adapt- 
ed to help to an appreciation of those of our 
fellow-men who have been educated by tra- 
dition and not by books, and who, though 
living on the plainest fare of oats, feel and 
cherish poetry " not less than those who 
have been nursed in comfort and schooled 
in literature." These Russian epics possess 
a striking distinction from those of Western 
Europe, in that while the latter passed from 
the popular mouth to writing during the 
middle ages, and are no longer to be found 
except in books, the Russian epics are still 
living in some districts of the country, and 
are " even extending into fresh fields " ; and 
" it is only within the present century 
within the last twenty-five years, in fact 
that the discovery has been made that Rus- 
sia possesses a national literature which is 
not excelled by the finest of Western Eu- 
rope." Although one or two small collec- 
tions had been previously published, which 
gave, however, no real indication of the rich- 
ness of the field to be explored, systematic 
investigation of this literature was first be- 
gun by Petr N. RyTmikof, of Petrzavodsk, 
on Lake Onega, about 1860. He discov- 
ered the chief minstrel of the region and 
the most important poem, and succeeded 
in collecting more than 50,000 verses. A. 
F. Hilferding, who followed him in 1870, 
made a still larger collection. " Two of the 
causes which have aided in the preservation 
of epic poetry in these remote districts, long 
after its disappearance from other parts of 
Russia, are liberty and loneliness. These 
vol. xxix. 18 

people have never been subjected to the 
oppressions of serfdom, and have never lost 
the ideal of free power celebrated in the an- 
cient rhapsodies." In the isolation of their 
forests, moreover, they do not come in con- 
tact with the world, and have never felt the 
influence of change conditions remain as in 
epic times. They also thoroughly believe the 
truth of the marvelous things recited in the 
poems. A curious incident is related, in 
which the imposition of a new forestry reg- 
ulation contributed to the extension of the 
songs. A community were compelled to 
abandon their farms, and went to net-mak- 
ing. As farmers, they knew nothing of the 
songs ; in company with the net-makers and 
other handicraftsmen, they learned them all. 
The singing of the poems is not now a pro- 
fession, but is a domestic diversion , and the 
present minstrels all belong to the peasant 
class, and are nearly all well-to-do. The 
epic songs proper are divisible into three 
groups the cycle of Vladimir or Kiev, that 
of Novgorod, and that of Moscow and these 
are preceded by three songs of the Elder 
Heroes. In the songs of the Vladimir cycle, 
the recently Christianized people for con- 
venience' sake baptized their heathen gods, 
making of Perun, the thunderer, nya, or 
Elijah the Prophet, the hero of the series, 
and earned the epithet of " two-faithed," 
which was applied to the Russian people by 
their older writers. The Novgorod cycle is 
more restricted, consisting practically of but 
two songs, and is more definite, more prac- 
tical, and closer to history than the Kiev 
cycle. The Moscow cycle begins with Ivan 
the Terrible and ends with Peter the Great, 
and is not represented in this volume. A 
running view of the development of this 
poetry is given in the author's introduction. 

Applied Geology : A Treatise on the Indus- 
trial Relations of Geological Structure ; 
and on the Nature, Occurrence, and 
Uses of Substances derived from Geo- 
logical Sources. By Samuel G. Will- 
iams, Professor of General and Eco- 
nomic Geology in Cornell University. 
New York : D. Appleton & Co. 1886. 
Pp. 386. Price, $1.50. 

The study of geology may be carried on 
with two entirely different aims. For one 
who undertakes the study for the sake of 
the science itself, the chief interest lies in 
tracing out from the records of stone a his- 



tory of the surface of our globe, in noting 
the manifold changes which it has under- 
gone, and perhaps, incidentally, studying the 
flora and fauna that have flourished upon 
it. Others, however, will regard geology 
from a different standpoint. Knowledge 
of the earth's structure, of the location and 
the occurrence of its various constituents, 
can be made use of for the interests of man. 

A moment's thought of the great num- 
ber of substances needed by man, for the 
supply of which he must look to old Mother 
Earth, will show how closely geological 
knowledge, applied to this end, is connected 
with the very progress of the human race. 
There has been no lack of excellent books 
devoted to the study of geology as a science, 
to theoretical geology, if this term be per- 
missible. However, the need has long been 
felt of some work that would serve as an 
aid in making a knowledge of the earth's 
structure available for practical purposes. 
Professor Williams has written his " Ap- 
plied Geology " to meet this want. 

It was a question of no small impor- 
tance how such a work should be conceived 
and arranged. On the one hand, it was de- 
sirable to have the treatise of value to the 
student of geological science ; on the other 
hand, the book was to be made available for 
a large class in the community whose pur- 
suits, although not exactly calling for a 
training in geology, yet make a thorough 
knowledge of some features of this science 
most desirable. In our opinion, the author 
has been very successful in meeting this 
twofold purpose. 

The first forty-odd pages of this book 
are given to a consideration of the rock- 
forming minerals and their classification ; 
to a description of rocks and the arrange- 
ment of rock-masses. To one who has al- 
ready studied geology, these pages will prove 
a welcome review of certain parts of the sci- 
ence that bear more directly on the subjects 
to follow ; for one who has not before en- 
gaged in the study, a careful perusal of 
this part is essential to an understanding 
of the sequel. The economic relations of 
geological structure are then discussed ; the 
important bearing of structure on the rela- 
tive accessibility of valuable substances and 
deposits is pointed out ; the need of a thor- 
ough acquaintance with the obtaining geo- 

logical conditions, by those undertaking 
great architectural or engineering struct- 
ures, is referred to, and so on. 

The next chapter is devoted to materi- 
als of construction. This embraces a thor- 
ough discussion of building-stones, their 
properties, strength, and durability. Their 
geological positions and distribution are 
considered. Some notes on materials for 
mortars and cements are added. 

Then follow chapters on the relations of 
geology to agriculture and to health. The 
former takes up the question of the origin 
of soils, and their composition ; of geologi- 
cal fertilizers, of drainage, and subsoils. 
The latter covers but a few pages and 
touches on the water-supply of households 
and communities, and the problems of 

Mineral fuels and geological materials 
for illumination are taken up in turn. A 
classification of the coals (with numerous 
analyses of different kinds) is followed by a 
review of the geological horizons of min- 
eral fuels ; the fuel value of coals, based on 
their analysis, is explained, and hints are 
given on the selection of coals adapted to 
different purposes. The chapter on geologi- 
cal materials for illumination discusses the 
occurrence of petroleum and the modes of 
mining and refining this oil. 

Next in order comes the consideration 
of metalliferous deposits. This theme, as is 
due its importance, occupies a considerable 
part of the book. Each of the more im- 
portant ores receives attention in a separate 
chapter, and the whole forms a most valu- 
able resume of the subject. Tables showing 
the annual production of many of the lead- 
ing minerals, compiled from the most recent 
data, will prove of especial interest to manu- 
facturers. The closing chapters of the book 
treat of substances adapted to chemical 
manufacture or use, fictile materials, refrac- 
tory substances, ornamental stones, and 

From all that has been said, an idea 
may be formed as to the nature and the 
scope of this work. A book of this kind 
must naturally rely to a certain extent on the 
work done by others. The author's task, in 
great part, has consisted in collecting and 
collating material from many sources. But 
from this it must not be inferred that the 



work in question is merely a collection 
of dry facts and data. On the contrary, 
written by one evidently thoroughly famil- 
iar with the ground covered, the book pre- 
sents in a most interesting manner a vast 
amount of information of the greatest prac- 
tical value. The style is clear and concise, 
and the book will form most pleasant read- 
ing, even for one not directly interested in 
applied geology. 

Fifth Annual Report of the United States 
Geological Survey to the Secretary 
of the Interior. 1883-84. By J. W. 
Powell, Director. Washington : Gov- 
ernment Printing-Office. Pp. 469, with 
Plates and Pocket Map. 

The topographic work of the survey has 
been prosecuted in New England, of which 
the preparation of a map has been begun, 
and where the State of Massachusetts is co- 
operating with the survey; in an area of 
19,750 square miles in Western Maryland, 
West Virginia, Southwest Virginia, West- 
ern North Carolina, and Eastern Tennes- 
see ; and in various parts of the districts of 
the Rocky Mountains, the Great Basin, 
and the Pacific. The geologic work em- 
braces the survey of the Yellowstone Na- 
tional Park, by Mr. Arnold Hague ; studies 
in Dakota and Montana, by Dr. Hayden ; 
of glacial phenomena, by Professor T. C. 
Chamberlain; of the archaean rocks of 
Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Dako- 
ta, by Professor Roland T. Irving ; of the 
Quaternary lakes of the Great Basin, by Mr. 
G. K. Gilbert ; of the Cascade Range, by 
Captain C. E. Dutton ; a survey of the Dis- 
trict of Columbia and adjacent territory by 
Mr. W. J. McGee ; economic studies in Col- 
orado, by Mr. S. F. Emmons ; and surveys 
of the Sulphur Bank, Knoxville, and New 
Idria quicksilver-mining districts, by Mr. G. 
F. Becker and Dr. W. H. Melville ; and of 
the Eureka District, by Mr. J. S. Curtis. 
The paleontologic work includes Professor 
Marsh's labors on vertebrate fossils and 
those of Dr. C. A. White, Charles C. Wal- 
cott, and others, on invertebrates, and the 
investigations of Mr. Lester F. Ward and 
Professor Fontaine in fossil plants. Chem- 
ical analyses have been carried on by Pro- 
fessor Clarke and Dr. T. M. Chatard, and 
physical investigations by Carl Barus. Spe- 
cial papers representing a considerable num- 

ber of these investigations are incorporated 
in the volume containing the report. 

Gyrating Bodies. An Empirical Study. 
Illustrated by upward of Fifty Figures 
" from Life." By C. B. Warring, Ph. D. 
Poughkeepsie, N. Y. Pp. 106. With 
Three Plates. 

A gyrating body is defined as " a body 
revolving on an axis passing through its 
center of gravity, and acted upon by a con- 
tinuous force tending to make it revolve on 
another axis at right angles to the first." 
The term includes the top, the gyroscope, 
several toys to the principle of which these 
furnish the key, and, according to the au- 
thor, the earth. Such bodies have some 
curious and paradoxical properties, which, 
though they may have been carelessly ob- 
served without being remarked upon, will 
be looked upon as strange when attention is 
called to them ; for they seem to contradict 
our ideas of the operation of the laws of mo- 
tion. Mr. Warring's studies cover several 
instruments of the class, and were prosecuted 
for the purpose of investigating these prop- 
erties and explaining them. Having reached 
an explanation, he finds that similar proper- 
ties reside in the complicated movements of 
the earth, and that by them such phenomena 
as nutation and precession may be account- 
ed for. 

American Diplomacy and the Further- 
ance of Commerce. By Eugene Schuy- 
ler. New York: Charles Scribner's 
Sons. Pp. 469. Price, $2.50. 

The author of this work is able to pre- 
sent, in evidence of his understanding of the 
subject, a record of seventeen years of con- 
tinuous service in diplomatic positions un- 
der our Government, in Russia, Constants 
nople, England, Rome, Roumania, Greece, 
and Servia, in all of which stations he has 
proved himself a useful and efficient agent, 
and has reflected credit on the American 
name. The substance of the book is derived 
from courses of lectures which he delivered 
last year at Johns Hopkins and Cornell Uni- 
versities, the purpose of which, in the first 
series, on our consular and diplomatic serv- 
ice, was to explain the actual workings of the 
State Department, and to set forth the use- 
fulness and needs of those services to young 
men who are shortly to be called upon to 



perform the duties of citizens ; and, in the 
second series, to show how our diplomacy 
has been practically useful in furthering our 
commerce and navigation. Under the for- 
mer head are the chapters on " The Depart- 
ment of State," "Our Consular System," 
and " Diplomatic Officials," in which the his- 
tory, theory, purpose, and operations of those 
services are fully described ; and under the 
second head is shown M how we asserted our 
rights to freedom of navigation, freedom 
from tribute such as was paid to the Bar- 
bary pirates, freedom from the police super- 
vision of the ocean which Great Britain at 
one time wished to obtain, and freedom 
from the restrictions on the free navigation 
of rivers and seas, about which we had dis- 
putes with powers so remote as Spain, 
Great Britain, Russia, Denmark, and Bra- 
zil." Chapters have also been devoted to the 
fishery question, and to the efforts of our 
Government to conclude commercial treaties 
with foreign powers. The whole subject is 
a very large one, and Mr. Schuyler calls at- 
tention to the fact that several points still 
remain to be considered. 

Dutch Village Communities on the Hud- 
son River. By Irving Elting. Pp. 
68. Town Government in Rhode Isl- 
and. By William E. Foster. Pp. 36. 
The Narragansett Planters. By Ed- 
ward Channing. Pp. 23. Pennsyl- 
vania Boroughs. By William P. IIol- 
comb. Pp. 51. Baltimore: N. Murray. 

These monographs, Nos. 2 and 3 being 
bound together, form the first four num- 
bers of the fourth series of " Johns Hop- 
kins University Studies in Historical and 
Political Science." The interest of the 
studies shows no signs of flagging; there 
appears to be abundance of material at 
hand on which to base the successive new 
researches, and it is well used by the several 
authors. Concerning the lessons that may 
be learned from the studies, Mr. Foster 
remarks, in the opening of his paper, that 
" the application of the comparative meth- 
od to the study of early American history 
has within recent years been attended with 
results of the most substantial value. The 
scattered communities along the Atlantic 
coast which, since 1776, have been united 
in a common bond of government, had 
their origin in widely diverse sets of condi- 

tions. While, therefore, their development 
has been characterized by institutions bear- 
ing a general analogy to each other, there is 
sufficient individuality and local differentia- 
tion to be observed, in any one instance, to 
render a somewhat close comparison of 
their points of resemblance and difference 
extremely serviceable. It is plain, more- 
over, that the further down in the scale of 
local division we can go, the more fruitful 
will be the study of these local institutions." 

Mr. Elting's paper, on "Dutch Village 
Communities on the Hudson River," shows 
how these communities, which were in fact a 
secondary though more natural form of or- 
ganization supplementing the first artificial 
and unsatisfactory aristocratic form, were 
really the outgrowth of German institutions 
that are known to have existed at least as 
far back as the time of Julius Caesar. The 
same idea of community in the ownership 
of the land appears to mark them both. In 
conclusion, the author asserts, with consid- 
erable boldness, we think, that " from the 
banks of the Rhine, the germs of free local 
institutions, borne on the tide of Western 
emigration, found here, along the Hudson, a 
more fruitful soil than New England af- 
forded for the growth of these forms of 
municipal, State, and national government, 
which have made the United States the 
leading republic among the nations." 

Mr. Foster, in his " Town Government in 
Rhode Island," dwells upon the independent 
origin and independent action of the towns, 
which prevented them from associating 
themselves together except under great 
stress of circumstances, and then under 
reservations which fixed a stamp on the 
character of the State ; and this trait of 
original organization explains the hesitation 
which was shown by Rhode Island in adopt- 
ing the Federal Constitution. In the " Nar- 
ragansett Planters," Mr. Channing describes 
a peculiar landed aristocracy possessing 
large estates, who, obtaining a holding on 
Narragansett Bay, produced a state of so- 
ciety which had no parallel in New England, 
and "was an anomaly in the institutional 
history of Rhode Island." 

In " Pennsylvania Boroughs," Mr. Hol- 
comb glances at the antiquity of the borough 
in England, considers the meaning of the 
term, especially as used in Pennsylvania, in 



distinction from " town," studies early bor- 
ough government in Germantown as the 
first borough organized in the State, and in 
Bristol as a type of the boroughs of the 
eighteenth century, and examines the char- 
acter and the possibilities of the present 

Proceedings of the American Society of 

Microscopists. Eighth Annual Meeting, 

1885. Pp. 258. Price, $2. 

Among the numerous essays printed in 
this volume many of which will undoubt- 
edly prove enjoyable reading for the spe- 
cialist are a few which will claim the in- 
terest of a wider circle. 

"The Cultivation of Bacteria, and the 
Cholera Bacillus,'' by Lester Curtis, treats 
of the mode of growth and development of 
this peculiar bacillus that has of late cre- 
ated such a stir and commotion in the 
learned world abroad. The differences be- 
tween the bacillus of Koch and that of 
Finkler-Prior, with which it was by some 
considered identical, are clearly pointed out. 
To the author, " the proof that this bacil- 
lus is unlike any other form, and is peculiar 
to cholera, seems conclusive." And further 
on he states, " That it is the cause of the 
disease seems to me scarcely less so." 

Considerable comfort will be derived 
from the statement that cholera is a disease 
not contagious as small-pox and measles 
are ; it is only caused by the bacillus gain- 
ing entrance to the intestinal canal, and can 
therefore, by simple precautions, be readily 
guarded against. Moreover, the germ is 
easily destroyed; exposure to superheated 
steam for half an hour or so will, it is 
claimed, cause its death. Cold will retard 
the development of these organisms, but 
does not kill them. 

An article on " Poisonous Dried Beef," 
by H. J. Ditmers, seeks to ascribe to the 
presence of certain micrococci, of which a 
great number were found in the meat ex- 
amined, the sickness caused by its consump- 
tion. That is to say, to these micrococci 
is ascribed the formation of the poisonous 
principle present. 

From the fact that nearly all pathogenic 
bacteria are powerless to cause harm unless 
conditions suitable for their development 
are offered by the animal organism, the 
writer further infers that the beef in ques- 

tion was the flesh of some animal or ani- 
mals that were in a dying, or else in a high- 
ly frenzied, condition when slaughtered. 
That the meat of an animal in such a con- 
dition is sometimes not always very poi- 
sonous, is a matter of record, and meat 
obtained from such a source should be 
condemned as unfit for food. 

Studies in General History. By Mary 
D. Sheldon, formerly Professor of His- 
tory in Wellesley College and Teacher of 
History in Oswego Normal School, New 
York. Students' Edition. Boston: D. 
C. Heath & Co. 1885. Pp.656. $1.60. 

This text-book is not designed for chil- 
dren, but for pupils well on in their teens 
and twenties. It is an attempt to apply 
what is known as the " Objective Method " 
of teaching science to the study of history. 
To this end, instead of memorizing the con- 
clusions of others, the pupil is put in such 
relations to the data of history that he will 
draw his own conclusions. Temples, walls, 
aqueducts, pyramids, men have built ; coun- 
tries they have conquered, settled, aban- 
doned ; their laws, arts, literature, amuse- 
ments, their heroes, enemies, gods, are the 
sort of " historical realities presented, with 
accompanying pictures, maps, stories, quo- 
tations, and facts. Questions and problems, 
such as will compel thought upon these data 
and their relations, are an important part 
of this unique plan of converting one of the 
last strongholds of rote-learning into a train- 
ing of the reflective faculties." 

Second Report on the Injurious and 
other Insects of the State of New 
York. By J. A. Lintner, State Ento- 
mologist. Albany: Weed, Parsons & 
Co. Pp. 265. 

The present publication presents mainly 
studies and observations that were made in 
the years 1882 and 1883, with a few of a 
later date. The insect depredations during 
these two years were less than for the pre- 
ceding year, and no formidable new pest 
was remarked as threatening any principal 
crops. The years, of late, the report adds, 
in which such additions have not been 
made, are unfortunately exceptional ones. 
The zebra-caterpillar was unusually destruc- 
tive on mangold-beets. While the grass- 
lands were relieved from the Vagabond 
Crambus which had visited them in 1881, 



and the corn-worm wa3 absent, the clover- 
seed midge has covered a more extensive ter- 
ritory, although its ravages do not appear to 
be increasing where it has been abundant, 
and the punctured cloyer-leaf weevil has 
steadily and rapidly extended its area of op- 
erations. The Colorado potato-beetle seems 
to be diminishing. The chinch-bug was re- 
marked for the first time in injurious num- 
bers in the State of New York. The sub- 
stance of the report consists chiefly of full 
descriptions of the injurious species of in- 
sects, accompanied by as many illustrations 
as the State printers found it convenient to 
insert. On this subject, Dr. Lintner well 
remarks that many years must elapse before 
good figures of any of our common and 
more destructive insect pests can be re- 
peated so often that a general familiarity 
with them and the species that they rep- 
resent in nature shall render their further 
repetition useless. 


Aliette. By Octave Feuillet. Translated from 
the French by J. Henry Hager. New York : D. 
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On the Chemical Behavior of Iron in the Mag- 
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The Influence of Emerson. By William R. 
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American Historical Association. Report of 
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New York Agricultural Experiment Station, 
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Department of Agriculture, Alabama. Bulletin 
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The Craters of Mokuaweoweo, on Mauna Loa. 
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The Annual River and Harbor Fraud. By Henry 
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Common Sense applied to Disease and ita 
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How the Oyster makes his Shell. Pro- 
fessor Samuel Lockwood, in a recent lecture 
before the New York Microscopic Society, 
answered the question which is asked by 
the fool in " King Lear " " Canst thou tell 
how an oyster makes his shell ? " He starts 
with the hinge-end, at the spot known to 
conchologists as the umbo. " A small plate, 
or single scale, now represents each valve, 
and that is the first season's growth. The 
next season a new growth, or plate, shoots 
out from underneath the first one, just as 
shingles do. The oystermen call these laps, 
or plates, ' shoots,' and they claim that the 
number of shoots indicates the years of the 
oyster. They certainly do contain a record 
of the seasons, showing the slow-growing 
and the fast-growing seasons. ... I have 
likened these shoots to shingles. Now, at 
the gable of a house the shingles may be 
seen edgewise. So on the side of an oyster- 
shell is a series of lines. This is the edge- 
wise view of the shoots, or season-growths. 

Another factor is the purple spot, or scar, 
in the interior of the shell. It is the place 
of attachment of the adductor muscle. Its 
first place of attachment was close up to 
the hinge. Had it stayed there until the 
shell had become adult, how difficult would 
be the task of pulling the valves together ! 
the leverage to be overcome would be so 
great ; for we must bear in mind the fact 
that at the hinge-end the valves are held by 
this black ligament, which is, in life, elastic, 
swelling when the shell opens, and being 
compressed when the animal draws the 
valves together. So, with every year's 
growth, or elongation of the shell, the mol- 
lusk moves the place of attachment of the 
muscle onward, that is, in advance farther 
from the hinge. As it does so, it covers up 
with white nacre all the scars that are back 
of the one in actual use as the point of at- 
tachment of the muscle." To make the 
similitude of the oyster's shoots, or season- 
growths, with the shingles on a roof com- 
plete, "it would be necessary for the bottom 
shingle on the roof to underlie the whole 
series, and reach even to the roof-tree, or 
ridge-pole. Then the second shingle from 
the gutter must in like manner underlie all 
the rest of the series ; so of the third, and 
so on with the rest. In this way lie the 
shoots, or laps, of the oyster's shell. The 
last one deposited underlies them all, and 
every one terminates at the channel in the 
bill so that this groove in the bill contains 
a series of transverse lines, each one mark- 
ing a season, or a year. Thus we get really 
four factors for the solution of the ques- 
tion, ' How old is the oyster ? ' all of which 
are the outcome of the method or way of 
making the shell." 

The Trap-Dike of Southeastern Penn- 
sylvania. Professor H. D. Rogers, in his 
report for 1858 on the geology of Pennsyl- 
vania, refers to two trap-dikes in the south- 
eastern part of the State. In the map 
published in connection with Professor J. 
P. Lesley's survey, Mr. C. F. Hall connects 
the two dikes so as to make a single dike 
about eight miles long. Professor H. Car- 
vill Lewis, after two years of observations, 
has found that this dike is only a small part 
of a long, narrow dike, which passes almost 
entirely across the southeastern part of 



Pennsylvania, from near Doylestown to 
Maryland, and which, taken together with 
some parallel dikes of similar nature and 
composition, northeast of Doylestown, forms 
a series of nearly continuous dikes some 
ninety miles in length. In the paper he 
has published on the subject he shows that, 
although frequently represented only by a 
line of loose weathered bowlders, it is prac- 
tically continuous along a course seventy 
miles in length. In Bucks County the dike 
abuts against the south side of a great fault 
of several thousand feet upthrow, and up- 
ward of twenty miles in length, while, at a 
distance laterally of five miles, another long 
dike of identical composition and structure 
abuts against the north side of the fault, 
and continues thence to the Delaware River. 
If not the same dike laterally displaced, 
the two portions clearly belong to the same 
system, and were produced by a single cause. 
It is said that this dike was used during the 
war of the rebellion by the negro slaves as 
a guide in their flight northward. Several 
of the stations of the underground railroad 
are said to have been on or near its line ; 
and the negroes were directed to follow 
these black rocks across fields and through 
woods "until they were led into the hos- 
pitable regions of Chester and Bucks Coun- 

The Magnitude of Dr. Gould's Astronom- 
ical Work. At the complimentary dinner 
given to Dr. B. A. Gould in Boston, in May, 
1885, Professor W. A. Rogers, of Harvard 
Observatory, made a suggestive comparison 
of the work which Dr. Gould has done at 
Cordoba, in the Argentine Republic, with 
similar work done previous to 1S72. There 
are, he said, in the northern heavens about 
4,500 stars visible to the naked eye ; while 
within the same limits there are about 
95,000 stars as bright as, or brighter than, 
the ninth magnitude, which are usually ob- 
served in narrow belts or zones, and are 
referred to as zone-stars. The bright stars 
are common to nearly all general cata- 
logues, but the positions of the fainter 
stars depend, for the most part, on two or 
three separate observations. Dr. Gould has 
formed two catalogues since 1872 a gen- 
eral catalogue of stars extending to the 
south pole, containing 34,000 stars, and a 

catalogue of zone-stars, numbering 73,000. 
The two catalogues represent about 250,000 
separate observations. It is stated in one 
of the printed .volumes that the chrono- 
graphic register of the transits, the point- 
ing of the telescope for declination, have 
all been done by Dr. Gould personally. 
The number of distinct and separate ob- 
servations involved in this work must cer- 
tainly exceed a million. The whole num- 
ber of stars in the two Cordoba catalogues 
is nearly three times as great as in any 
single catalogue thus far constructed ; and 
it must be remembered in this connection, 
that the great catalogues of Lalande, of 
Bessel, of Argelander, and of Schjellerup, 
represent the labors of a lifetime. The 
total number of stars in all catalogues 
formed previous to 1870 is about 260,000, 
as against the 105,000 stars in the Cordoba 
catalogues. Since 1869, a confederation of 
fourteen observatories, situated in different 
parts of the world, has been engaged in the 
accurate determinations of the positions of 
the 100,000 stars to the ninth magnitude 
in the northern heavens. Up to 1882, a 
total of about 346,000 observations had 
been made. Considerable progress had 
been made in this work before Dr. Gould 
left this country for South America. His 
work, involving two thirds as many observa- 
tions as all others combined, is completed, 
and is all in the hands of the printer, while 
the actual formation of the catalogue to be 
issued under the direction of the Astro7io- 
mische Gesellschaft can hardly be said to 
have been begun. 

Japanese Camphor. Camphor is very 
largely exported from the Japanese island 
of Kiu Shiu, where the tree grows abun- 
dantly in all situations. Many of the trees 
reach a great size, some near Nagasaki be- 
ing said to be ten or twelve feet in diame- 
ter, while at other places are trees measur- 
ing twenty feet across ; after forming a 
trunk twenty or thirty feet high without 
limbs, the tree branches out in all direc- 
tions, forming a well-proportioned and beau- 
tiful evergreen mass. The leaf is small, 
elliptical, slightly serrated, and of a vivid 
dark green. The berry grows in clusters, 
and resembles a black currant. The wood 
is valuable for cabinet-work and for pur- 



poses of ship-building. The tree is neces- 
sarily destroyed in the manufacture of cam- 
phor, but the law requires a new one' to be 
planted in the place of every one taken 
away. The gum is extracted by distillation 
from the chips, the whole tree being cut up 
for the purpose, and steamed in a tight ves- 
sel or box. The steam, camphor, and oil, 
the immediate products of the process, are 
conducted through a bamboo tube to a sec- 
ond tub, and from this to a third, which is 
divided into an upper and a lower compart- 
ment. The partition between the two di- 
visions is perforated with small holes to 
allow the oil and water to pass to the lower 
compartment. The upper compartment is 
supplied with a layer of straw, which catch- 
es and holds the camphor in crystals. The 
camphor is then separated from the straw 
and packed in wooden tubs containing a 
picul, or one hundred and thirty-three and 
one third pounds, each, for the market. 
The oil is used for illuminating and other 
purposes. The exports of camphor from 
Nagasaki in 1882 were valued at $290,000. 

Protect the Birds. The Committee on 
Protection of Birds of the American Or- 
nithologists' Union has begun the issue of 
circulars, calling attention to the threatened 
danger of the destruction of our native 
birds by the greed of specimen-collectors, 
milliners, egg -hunters, and Vandal sports- 
men. A paper by Mr. J. A. Allen, in the 
first "Bulletin," gives an estimate of the 
alarming extent to which this destruction 
is going on. The conditions of modern life 
are in themselves furnishing what we might 
now call natural agencies that is, sponta- 
neous and of constant operation which 
contribute more, perhaps, than all pre- 
viously operating natural agencies com- 
bined to limit the increase, or, perhaps, 
diminish the numbers, of birds. To these 
may be added the growth of a passion for 
hunting birds for various purposes and 
sometimes under mistaken views, which has 
become so violent that it is almost a won- 
der that any birds are left. Collectors ap- 
pear to be charged with a larger share of 
responsibility in this matter than notwith- 
standing there is vastly too much reckless 
collecting they deserve. Mr. Allen calcu- 
lates that the number of birds killed for 

their purposes since collecting began does 
not exceed 500,000 ; while, to gratify the 
vanity of the "dead-bird-wearing gender" 
of the human race, not less than 5,000,000 
are sacrificed every year ! Mr. George B. 
Sennett, in a paper in which he tells how 
the pelicans were exterminated from an 
island off the coast of Texas in an experi- 
ment at making an oil from them which 
proved to be worthless, says that "if a 
tithe of the truth were known throughout 
the country at large concerning the sacrifice 
of bird-life in the names of l business,' ' en- 
terprise,' ' food,' ' sport,' and what not, 
from Maine to Mexico, and from California 
to Alaska, there would be such a cry of 
remonstrance as would make the bird-de- 
stroyers hang their heads for shame " that 
is, if there is any shame left in persons capa- 
ble of engaging in such business. By far 
the largest numbers of birds are slaughtered 
to supply ladies' hats; and it is for the 
ladies themselves to apply the remedy for 
the evil, by refusing to wear such barbaric 
ornaments. Noble women in this and other 
countries are organizing to put down the 
iniquitous fashion. The object deserves 
universal support. 

Professor Pickering's Telephone. In 

a paper read by him before the Ameri- 
can Academy of Arts and Sciences, on 
his "Early Experiments in telegraphing 
Sound," Professor Edward C. Pickering 
showed that in 1870, several years before 
the telephones now in use were invented, 
a receiver was devised, constructed, and 
tried, which consisted of a flexible iron 
diaphragm, supported at the edges and re- 
placing the armature of an electro-magnet. 
Musical sounds were telegraphed success- 
fully, and the apparatus was described at 
a scientific meeting, of which a report was 
published in the "Troy Press" of August 
24, 1870. In 1872 and later, the experi- 
ment was repeated under various condi- 
tions. In 1879 it was shown that the in- 
strument was capable of serving as a tele- 
phone, and of rendering articulate speech 
audible at a distance. It appeared to differ 
in no way in principle from the receiver 
now used. Professor Pickering explains, 
however, that all his experiments were 
made, or were intended to be made, with 



a discontinuous current, and, although the 
instrument is capable of showing the vari- 
ations of a continuous current, the author 
did not have this application in mind when 
he constructed it. No patent was taken out 
for the device, for the inventor believed 
that " a scientific man should place no re- 
strictions upon his work which would tend 
to prevent the repetition of an experiment 
of scientific interest. A full description 
should have been published. This was at 
first delayed, from the pressure of other 
work, and lack of appreciation of the im- 
portance of the results. Afterward I was 
unwilling to enter into a controversy, or to 
obstruct my friends, who were struggling to 
obtain proper recognition of the great re- 
sults they had obtained in the same field." 

What Ice can do# The important part 
in producing or modifying topography that 
has hitherto been conceded to moving mass- 
es of ice has recently been disputed by some 
American geologists, who have denied that 
ice possesses any eroding or excavating pow- 
er. Professor J. S. Newberry has published 
an article sustaining the old theory against 
these contradictions by evidences drawn from 
the visible action of living glaciers, as in the 
Alps, and also in the mountains of Oregon, 
where a remarkable monotony of surface 
has been produced by ice-action. The crest 
of the Cascades, crowned by the volcanic 
peaks, Mount Jefferson, Mount Hood, etc., 
has sides sloping east and west, like the roof 
of a house. These slopes are planed down, 
and their asperities removed, everywhere 
showing the effects of a powerful grinding 
agent. In the Laurentian belt north of the 
lakes, where were formerly high mountains, 
are now only low hills and rolling surfaces, 
and the strata are " standing at high angles 
but planed down, scratched and ground by 
glaciers, until their cut edges are like boards 
in a floor." Similar work has been performed 
between the Hudson and the Connecticut. 
The action of running water on topography 
is not only different from that of ice, but 
antagonistic to it. Water deepens the 
lines of drainage and increases the asperi- 
ties. The canons of the Colorado are typi- 
cal and characteristic illustrations of water- 
action on continental surfaces. Great ice- 
sheets, on the contrary, tend to reduce all 

asperities, fill depressions, and render the 
topography monotonous. If ice is compe- 
tent to do the work of shaving and smooth- 
ing the landscape, which the author aims to 
prove by his citations that it has done, much 
more may it have excavated lake -basins. 
" The power which has done the greater is 
certainly equal to the less." Probably, Pro- 
fessor Newberry adds, some misapprehen- 
sion arises from an inadequate conception 
of the composition and action of a glacier. 
" It is, perhaps, regarded as a mass of pure 
ice, which by itself would have little grind- 
ing power ; but a glacier is a great moving 
mass which by its weight and motion crush- 
es and removes all but the most solid rock 
prominences over which it passes. Where 
it impinges against cliffs, these are some- 
times lifted, and huge blocks are carried 
away. In many localities we find stones 
hundreds of tons in weight, which have 
been torn from their beds and carried many 
miles. Pure ice, then, in sufficient volume 
is a potent and almost irresistible agent of 
erosion, quite independent of its grinding 
action ; but, as a matter of fact, all glaciers 
are studded below with rock - fragments, 
great or small, which they have torn up in 
their course ; so that sand, gravel, and 
bowlders constitute a coating to the under 
surface of a glacier which may be compared 
with the emery on a copper wheel." 

Have we gone too far in draining 
Swamps ? In one of a series of papers on 
" The Proper Value and Management of 
Government Timber-Lands," read at the De- 
partment of Agriculture, in May last, Mr. 
M. C. Read showed that harm rather than 
good has been done by the draining of the 
swamps which has been so vigorously pros- 
ecuted during the last twenty-five years. 
The swamps were constant store-beds and 
sources of moisture, and tended to keep the 
streams that drew upon them at an even 
level. In draining them, they being generally 
found on the same level as the surface of 
adjacent lakes, the outlets of the lakes were 
deepened so that they could be drained 
more speedily and completely. To accom- 
modate the more rapid outflow that accrued, 
the streams below were often straightened 
and cleared out, and the rapid concentration 
of the water into the larger streams was 



made as easy as possible. " All three 
agencies combined are making the surface- 
drainage almost a3 perfect as if a series of 
impervious roofs covered the land, and all 
the flow from them were conducted by pipes 
into one common channel." Consequently, 
" springs once copious have disappeared ; 
streams formerly perennial alternately over- 
flow their banks and run dry. The natural 
regulators of the streams having been de- 
stroyed, whenever there is an excessive rain 
it is rapidly carried into the streams, which, 
gradually uniting their waters, often con- 
stitute floods in larger channels which no 
human appliances can control." Dike3 and 
levees will check the evil for a time, only to 
make it greater in the future. The only 
possible remedy for all these evils is " to 
hasten as quickly as possible to undo our 
work and recreate the natural reservoirs we 
have destroyed. By reforesting the swamps 
and the higher land which surrounds them 
and the lakes, " we shall restore them to 
their proper place in the economy of Na- 
ture." The lakes should be restored to their 
former dimensions, and enlarged wherever 
practicable. A scheme kindred to this is 
that of creating artificial reservoirs at the 
sources of rivers, as at the sources of the 
Ohio in the Alleghany Mountains, by dam- 
ming up the ravines of the smaller streams. 

Earth-Contraction and Mountains. Mr. 
William B. Taylor lately read a paper before 
the Philosophical Society of Washington 
before which he suggested that the crumpling 
of the earth's crust, with the formation of 
mountain-ranges, was a result of modifica- 
tion in the spheroidity of the globe pro- 
duced by a change in the length of the 
day, which change is an effect of the re- 
tarding action of the tides. It is established, 
in the author's mind, as beyond a reason- 
able doubt, that our present day is consider- 
ably longer than the day of early geological 
times. Supposing the equatorial radius of 
the earth to have been once one tenth 
greater and the polar radius one tenth less 
than they are now, it is evident that, from 
the very slow but never-ceasing contraction 
of the equatorial shell, due to diminution of 
rotatory motion, " this crust would be sub- 
ject to an unremitting stress of lateral com- 
pression as relentless as that from the old 

hypothetic shrinkage of volume by reduc- 
tion of temperature. Is it not precisely this 
morphologic contraction whose effects and 
records are everywhere apparent in the 
crumpling of the earth's crust ? " On this 
view the facts may be explained that the 
circumpolar regions, where the crust has, 
by the theory, been stretched, are relatively 
free from mountains or plications, while the 
intertropical region contains the highest ele- 
vations. So strongly impressed is Mr. Taylor 
11 with the inevitable operation and potency 
of this unquestioned retardation of rotation 
that, were all traces of any differential action 
masked and obliterated, he would still hold 
to it as the one efficient cause to account 
for the prominent constriction of the crust 
displayed in every land. But the differen- 
tial traces of oblateness have not been ob- 
literated masked though they may be, to 
some extent, by other perturbations." From 
various conditions, he adds, " we may infer 
that in all geological ages the progress of 
elevation has been in excess of that of 
degradation by erosion; that in all ages 
mountain-building has been at a maximum ; 
that is, that the uplifted heights have been 
the greatest which the average thickness of 
the crust at the time was capable of sup- 
porting ; so that the former has been a 
constant function of the latter, the ratio 
being probably not far from one fifth." 
The increasing maximum of elevation has 
probably now reached its limit, for both 
the processes of equatorial contraction and 
of internal temperature reduction are going 
on with extreme and lengthening slowness ; 
" and the whole remaining subsidence of the 
intertropical oblateness can not exceed five 
miles, during the vast ages in which the 
earth's rotation shall be entirely arrested." 

Snake-Poisoning. Dr. G. C. Roy, con- 
trasting the physiological action of snake- 
poison and the symptoms of rabies, has 
made the suggestion that the venom of the 
cobra might be tried to counteract the mor- 
bid phenomena of rabies. An interesting 
compendium of facts respecting snake-poi- 
sons has been published in Calcutta by Mr. 
Vincent Richards, from which we learn, 
among other things, that we have no anti- 
dote to the poison when it has once fully 
entered into the system. If the venom can 



be confined to a part, by means of a liga- 
ture, then permanganate of potash, in a five 
per cent solution, is an efficient destroyer 
of its power. Ammonia is not a remedy. 
Some seeming cures may be accounted for 
by the fact that, if an insufficient dose of 
the venom be administered, the bitten ani- 
mal will live, whether stimulants alcohol 
or ammonia be given or not. The intel- 
lect does not appear to be affected by snake- 
poisoning, but remains unclouded to the 

Turquoises. The turquoise, in the mid- 
dle ages, was accredited with even more 
supernatural virtues than were ascribed to 
other precious stones. The wearer of it 
had his sight strengthened and his spirits 
cheered ; if he fell, the gem would break 
instead of his bones, and save them ; and, if 
he became sick, it turned pale. When its 
possessor died, it lost its color, to recover it 
again on passing into the hands of another. 
In some mysterious way, when suspended 
by a string, it was capable of correctly 
striking the hours on the inside of a glass 
vessel. Turquoise a hydrated phosphate 
of alumina colored by traces of com- 
pounds of copper and iron may be of va- 
rious colors of blue and green, but only the 
fast sky-blue specimens are prized as pre- 
cious stones. The other shades may be 
imitated in inferior stones, this one not. 
The material of some fossil teeth is capable 
of being colored with phosphate of iron so 
as to resemble real turquoise, when it is 
called odontolite or Occidental turquoise, but 
it is softer than the genuine Oriental stone, 
and thereby easily distinguishable from it. 
Jewelers' turquoises come from the mount- 
ains of Khorassan in Persia. A very sat- 
isfactory report upon the mines has been 
furnished the British Foreign Office by Mr. 
A. H. Schindler, who was for a short time 
director of them. The veins occur in the 
met amorphic strata, with which the num- 
mulitic limestone of the mountains is mot- 
tled, and are very ancient and extensive, 
bearing frequent evidences of the old work- 
ings. The mines are quite deep, one of 
them reaching down to one hundred and 
sixty feet. The works are carried on by the 
people of the villages, who are careless 
in management, and improvident. At the 

mines, the turquoises are roughly divided 
into three classes, of first, second, and third 
qualities. All the stones of good and fast 
color and favorable shape belong to the 
first class. But they vary most curiously 
in value, for Mr. Schindler says, " it is im- 
possible to fix any price, or classify them 
according to different qualities. I have not 
yet seen two stones alike. A stone two 
thirds of an inch in length, two fifths of an 
inch in width, and about half an inch in 
thickness, cut peikani (conical) shape, was 
valued at Meshed at three hundred pounds ; 
another, of about the same size, shape, and 
cut, was valued at only eighty pounds. The 
color most prized is the deep blue of the 
sky. A small speck of lighter color, which 
only connoisseurs can distinguish, or an 
almost unappreciable tinge of green, de- 
creases the value considerably. Then there 
is that undefinable property of a good tur- 
quoise, the zdt, something like the ' water ' 
of a diamond or the luster of a pearl ; a fine 
colored turquoise without the zdt is not 
worth much." The stones are cut in three 
ways the flat or slightly convex form, the 
truncated cone, and the tallow-drop or en 
cabochon. The higher the conical and con- 
vex surfaces in the two latter, the more the 
turquoises are prized. None but a fine, 
deep-colored stone can be advantageously 
cut into a conical shape, since one of a pale 
color would appear almost white at the 
apex. Some mines contain stones which 
look well at first, but soon change their 
color and fade. These, of course, are 

Poisons formed from Food. The subject 
of "Poisons formed from Food, and their 
Relation to Biliousness and Diarrhoea," has 
been considered by Dr. T. Lauder Brunton 
in articles in " The Practitioner." There 
are persons, he says, or even, perhaps, 
11 classes of people," to whom even articles 
of food, usually salutary, are poisonous. 
Many articles of food, also, have a property 
of splitting themselves up so as to yield 
poisons. The melon and cucumber tribe of 
vegetables exhibits a tendency to the for- 
mation of purgative substances. In animal 
foods poisonous properties are apt to appear 
either from particular modes of cooking, or 
from beginning decomposition. The decom- 



position may be effected by microbic organ- 
isms, or by the digestive ferments of the 
healthy body ; and they are various accord- 
ing to the particular organism or ferment 
that sets them up, and according to the tem- 
perature at which they occur, and the length 
of time that they continue. Some of the 
products of decomposition are poisonous in 
various degrees of activity, while others are 
innocuous. When kept separate, the poison- 
ous products remain unchanged for a long 
time, but when mixed together they are apt 
to undergo further decomposition and be- 
come inert. Besides temperature, the de- 
gree of moisture in the subject of decom- 
position or in the atmosphere, and electrical 
conditions as when milk is " soured by 
thunder "exercise modifying influences, 
which have not yet been definitely ascer- 
tained. The difference between the prod- 
ucts of decomposition in hot and cold weath- 
er is illustrated by the alkaloids obtained 
from decomposing maize in summer and 
winter. The winter alkaloid has a narcotic 
and paralyzing action ; but in summer an- 
other alkaloid is also yielded, which has a 
tetanizing action something like strychnine. 
On account of the greater rapidity of the 
putrefactive process, albuminous substances 
become poisonous much sooner in summer 
than in winter, and again lose their poison- 
ous properties more quickly by further de- 
composition. As putrefaction may go on to 
a certain extent after the introduction of 
food into the intestinal canal, poisons may 
be formed from the part eaten, and pro- 
duce dangerous symptoms, while no poison 
can be found in the remaining parts of the 
same food. 

The Hypothetical Planet Neith. Seven 
times since the invention of the telescope a 
lesser body has been observed near Venus 
in such a situation as to suggest that it 
might be a satellite of that planet. The ob- 
servations can hardly have been illusive, 
though they were only fleeting ones, for 
they were made by skilled astronomers. The 
last one was in 1764. M. J. C. Houzeau, 
of the Brussels Observatory, has examined 
the data of them in an endeavor to deter- 
mine the nature of the body. They do not 
agree with the supposition that it is a satel- 
lite, or that it is an intra-Mercurial planet. 

They are consistent, however, with the sup- 
position that it moves in an orbit about 
equal to or a little larger than that of Venus, 
with which it comes in conjunction at in- 
tervals which are multiples of a little less 
than three years ; for the intervals between 
the observations all represented such mul- 
tiples. Supposing the observations to be 
correct and to indicate the real existence of 
such a body, M. Houzeau proposes for it the 
name of Neith. The search for this planet 
would furnish good occupation for amateur 

Causes of Financial Stringency. The 

" Edinburgh Review " ascribes the present 
general monetary scarcity to the vast expan- 
sion of trade since the middle of the centu- 
ry, which was in great part an effect as well 
as an accompaniment of the new supply of 
gold that came in at that time ; the decline 
which has taken place in the yield of the 
gold-mines ; and the large augmentation in 
the demand for gold which has been occa- 
sioned by the extensive demonetization of 
silver. The influence which the large addi- 
tion to the world's stock of specie since 1848 
has exerted upon the value of money, though 
important, has been by no means so great 
as was expected. " The doctrine that changes 
in the amount of the circulating medium are 
really of no consequence, inasmuch as such 
an increase is pari passu attended by a pro- 
portionate change in the value of money, so 
that the effective power of the currency re- 
mains unaltered, is now all but extinct, and 
can survive only in minds which are imper- 
vious to the remarkable lessons of the last 
thirty years," which have "demonstrated 
afresh the correctness of the old and com- 
mon-sense view of the matter namely, 
that if there is an increase of business 
operations, or other effective requirements 
for money, a proportionate addition to the 
currency will only serve to keep the value of 
money at its previous level ; and, if trade or 
these monetary requirements increase faster 
than the amount of currency, prices will fall 
(or the value of money will rise), however 
large the annual additions to the currency 
may be. More remarkably, and on a far 
grander scale, the same truth or principle 
was illustrated in the history of the three 
centuries which followed the discovery of 



the New World." In 1850 sixteen millions 
sterling of specie annually did less for the 
wants of the world than ten millions had 
done in 1810, and much less than two mill- 
ions had done nearly three centuries pre- 
viously, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. 
" Whenever the supply of money becomes 
stationary in the civilized world, or in a 
progressive community, prices begin to fall, 
owing to the steady increase of population 
and monetary requirements. Thus, . . . 
during the silver age, although the annual 
production of the precious metals increased 
continuously throughout three hundred 
years well-nigh doubling in each succes- 
sive century the monetary wants of the 
world increased quite as fast, and ere long 
began to outstrip the growth of the mone- 
tary supply." A careful analysis of the 
statistics of coinage and other uses, and of 
the supply of the precious metals, based 
upon the reports of the Director of the 
United States Mint, shows that " the cur- 
rent requirements for coinage of themselves 
exceed the total annual supply of the pre- 
cious metals by four millions sterling, while 
the consumption in the arts amounts to nine- 
teen millions indicating a reduction, or at 
least an inadequate supply, of metallic mon- 
ey to the extent of twenty - three millions 
annually." The disastrous effects of a mon- 
etary dearth are extensive. It affects not 
only current trade, but real property, or 
fixed wealth of all kinds. The value of 
money is rising, and consequently the sale 
value of all other commodities is falling. 
Even the moneyed class lose also, owing to 
the low rate of interest and the lack of re- 
munerative kinds of investment ; but agri- 
culture is most affected by a change in the 
value of the circulating medium, because 
such a change comes upon it with di- 
rect and unbroken force. Thus, the mis- 
chief works round the whole community, 
or indeed the civilized world. No human 
power can prevent the embarrassment aris- 
ing from an inadequate production of the 
precious metals. "But, fortunately, the 
source of our present difficulties is no longer 
the mystery that it was, even to statesmen 
in former times. The fact that nowadays 
it can be traced to its fundamental causes 
constitutes the best hope amid our present 

Is Tea-drinking salntary ? The Dean 
of Bangor has charged tea-drinking with 
destroying the calmness of the nerves, mak- 
ing people uneasy and irritable, and acting 
as a dangerous revolutionary force. Some 
medical men, including American doctors 

and Dr. Richardson, 

agree with him ; 


Dr. Gordon Stables has pronounced tea " the 
drink of pleasure and health," and has ex- 
pressed the opinion that it ought to be the 
national drink of England. The general 
current of public opinion and practice ap- 
pears to be favorable to the latter view. 
In the British army, says the " Pall Mall 
Gazette," the use of tea is slowly but surely 
supplanting the use of grog. The soldiers 
who captured Tel-el-Kebir dr ank nothing but 
tea. It was served out to them three times 
a day, and they found it most pleasant and 
invigorating on the march. Its use among 
athletes and others who perform physical 
feats is becoming more general. The use 
of alcohol and tobacco is universally con- 
demned in the various hand-books on train- 
ing, but the use of tea is always recom- 
mended. To the charge that tea-drinking 
stimulates revolutionary tendencies may be 
answered that the greatest tea-drinking na- 
tion in Asia, the Chinese, is the most con- 
servative, and that the Russians, the great- 
est tea-drinkers in Europe, are the most 
stolid of Western peoples. Of great men, 
Dr. Johnson described himself as " a hard- 
ened and shameless tea-drinker." Kant 
used to breakfast on a cup of tea and a 
pipe of tobacco, and to work on them for 
eight hours. De Quincey usually drank tea 
from eight o'clock at night till four o'clock 
in the morning. Buckle was a most fas- 
tidious tea-drinker. William Howitt regu- 
larly took tea and coffee, and found the 
greatest refreshment in both ; and Mr. Glad- 
stone is one of the greatest tea-drinkers of 
the century. 

Variation in Earthquake-Vibrations. 

Professor Milne, of Tokio, Japan, making 
a seismic survey of the ground near bis 
house, placed similarly constructed and test- 
ed seismographs at different places, but in 
similar positions. The result of observing 
many earthquakes was that all the instru- 
ments, the positions of which would be in- 
cluded within a triangle, the sides of which 



were eight hundred or nine hundred feet in 
length, gave different indications as to di- 
rection, amplitude, maximum velocity, and 
intensity ; so that, had these instruments 
been in the hands of different observers, 
each observer would have given a different 
account of the same earthquake. Thus, 
comparing the average maximum velocities 
at a station, C, on hard ground, with that 
at a station, E, on soft ground, they were 
found to be 1 : 5. The maximum accelera- 
tions at these two stations were 1 : 2*4. It 
might therefore be concluded that a build- 
ing at C would withstand a disturbance 
which would be sufficient to shatter a simi- 
lar building placed at E. 


A committee of the American Society for 
Psychical Research, of which Josiah Royce, 
of Cambridge, Massachusetts, is chairman, 
wishes to collect accounts from trustworthy 
sources, respecting supposed cases of appa- 
ritions of absent or deceased persons, and 
the communication by them of facts un- 
known to the person visited by them, or 
belonging to the future, which are after- 
ward verified. It would also like to receive 
accounts of other similar personal experi- 
ences which may have been striking enough 
for the persons concerned to remember, or 
perhaps record. The committee's purpose 
is to collate and examine the evidence pre- 
sented, with a view to drawing such conclu- 
sions from it as may seem proper and war- 
ranted. The committee's circular, which 
may be obtained on application to the 
chairman, contains a full statement respect- 
ing the kind of information it seeks, with a 
schedule of questions which may be useful 
as a guide in making up the accounts. 

The summer courses in chemistry, to be 
given at Harvard University this year, will 
open July 5th and close August 14th. In- 
struction will be given under the direction 
of Dr. A. M. Comey in general chemistry, 
qualitative analysis, organic chemistry, and 
mineralogy. The fee for any of these courses 
is twenty-five dollars, and material and ap- 
paratus usually cost from five to six dollars 
additional. It is desired that applications 
for desks in the laboratory be made before 
June 15th. These courses are taken each 
year by teachers, both male and female, 
who are preparing to teach chemistry, by 
persons who intend to use their knowledge 
in the arts, and by general students. 

Wood-oil is now made on a large scale 
in Sweden from the refuse of timber-cut- 

tings and forest-clearings, and from stumps 
and roots. Although it can not well be 
burned in common lamps, on account of the 
heavy proportions of carbon it contains, it 
furnishes a satisfactory light in lamps espe- 
cially made for it, and in its natural state 
is the cheapest of all illuminating oils. 
Thirty factories produce about 40,000 litres 
of the oil daily. Turpentine, creosote, acetic 
acid, charcoal, coal-tar oils, and other use- 
ful substances, are also obtained from the 
same materials as is the wocd-oil. 

M. H. Fatol reports that a number of 
oaken piles which have seen nine years of 
service at Mieres, Spain, have taken on the 
appearance of stone-coal. The structure 
resembles that of a fibrous coal composed 
of bright particles separated by dull ones ; 
it also feels like stone-coal. M. Renault 
states, after a microscopic examination, that 
the wood of fibers and parenchyma have 
preserved their characters, and the dottings 
of the vessels are perfectly clear. Chemical 
analysis gives a composition analogous to 
that of lignite. The very black color is 
ascribed to the presence of tannate of iron. 

M. Chevreul gave joy to the members 

1 of the French Academy of Sciences by re- 

, suming his seat among them on the 5th of 

j April, after a few weeks' absence on ac- 

! count of illness. He seemed only slightly 

weakened, but was otherwise in his usual 

vigor. The President of the Academy gave 

him a suitable welcome, and he replied, 

speaking till he was checked by Dr. Vul- 

pian, his titular physician. 

Dr. Charles Osten records, in "The 
Practitioner," the case of a woman patient 
who was made sick by eating eggs. She 
appears to be affected with a family idio- 
syncrasy against eggs, for she said that 
they never agreed with her when well ; and 
neither her mother nor grandmother could 
eat them. 

According to Professor Yirchow, the 
German Colonial Society has had circulars 
sent to all European colonies situated in 
the tropics, requesting observations to be 
made regarding the question of the accli- 
matization of Europeans in the tropics, in 
order that the answers may be ready to be 
communicated to the German Naturalists' 
Association at its meeting in September 
next. An exhibition of objects required in 
fitting out scientific travelers for their jour- 
neys will also be held at the same time with 
the meeting of the Naturalists. 

Herr L. Rutenberg, of Bremen, has pre- 
sented the Natural History Society of that 
city with the sum of 2,500 for a Rutenberg 
fund, in commemoration of the services ren- 
dered to science by his son, the traveler, 
who was murdered in Madagascar. 



A committee of the Paris Academy of 
Sciences has matured a plan for the foun- 
dation of an Institat Pasteur for the treat- 
ment of rabies, to be open to Frenchmen 
and to foreigners bitten by dogs or other 
rabid animals. A public subscription is to 
be instituted in France and abroad for the 
foundation of the establishment. The man- 
agement and application of the subscription 
will be under the direction of a committee, 
of which Admiral Jurien de la Graviere, 
President of the Academy, is chief. 

Dr. Dubois, of Paris, has been making 
experiments on the properties of vaseline 
as food. Two dogs were fed on soup in 
which the usual fat was entirely replaced 
with vaseline. With this diet, the animals 
even slightly increased in weight ; their gen- 
eral state was good, with no loss of appetite, 
vomiting, or diarrhoea. Whence the experi- 
menter infers that the carburets of hydrogen 
forming vaseline, though they favor neither 
oxidation nor saponification like fats, are 
readily tolerated in the alimentary canal of 

The Marquis de Nadaillac gives man's 
range of endurance of temperature as 
equivalent to at least 132 C., or 236 
Fahr. His estimate is based on the re- 
corded facts of -65 C., or-85 o Fahr., 
observed in the Kara Sea, and 67 '7 C, or 
151-8 Fahr., in the country of the Tua- 
ricks, in Central Africa. 

Dr. Andries, having calculated that ac- 
cidents from lightning have increased by 
from three to five fold during the last fifty 
years, finds that the causes which have been 
assigned for the phenomena do not account 
for all. He regards the main cause as lying 
in the enormous increase in manufactories, 
locomotives, etc., which fill the air with 
smoke, steam, and particles of dust of all 
kinds, while the increased populations con- 
tribute their share to the impurity of the 
atmosphere. His own experiments and those 
of others have shown that all the electrical 
phenomena of the air increase in intensity 
with the increase of dust in it. 

The London Sanitary Protection Asso- 
ciation registers more than 1,000 members, 
and reports 1,264 inspections during the 
year. The general character of the houses 
inspected was found to be as insanitary as 
ever, only 5 per cent being found in perfect 
order, and 95 per cent in fairly good order ; 
while in 60 per cent foul air was escaping 
directly into the house, and in 24 per cent 
sewage was partly retained under -ground 
by leakage or choking of pipes. 

A periodical descriptive of the contents 
and additions to the collection has been 
started by the administration of the Ethno- 
logical Section of the Royal Museum at 
Berlin. The first number contains an ac- 

count of Dr. Nachtigal's ethnological col- 
lections, and other papers of similar interest. 


The death is announced of Dr. Moser 
von Moosbruch, agricultural chemist, of Vi- 

M. Felix Leblanc, Professor of Chem- 
istry in the JScole Cenirale des Arts et Manu- 
factures, Paris, is dead. He was for a long 
time a collaborator with Dumas ; and has left 
his mark in chemical science, particularly in 
the matter of studies of carbonic oxide, 
ne also gave much attention to electrical 
investigations, and was a member of the 
committee on experiments of the Inter- 
national Electrical Exposition of 1881. He 
w r as chief inspector of gas in the city of 
Paris, and Vice-President of the Society for 
the Encouragement of National Industries. 

Johann Jacob von Tschudi, an emi- 
nent observer of South American phenom- 
ena, died in St. Gall, Switzerland, on the 
24th of January last. He was born at 
Glarus, in 1818, and went from school to 
Peru, where he lived five years. He gave 
the public the best account of Peru, and 
also published books on the fauna of that 
country, and the ancient Quichua language, 
a travel-sketch of the Andes, an account of 
the Brazilian province of Minas-Geraes, the 
" System of the Batrachians," and finally, a 
comprehensive book of travels in South 
America, in five volumes. He was a 
brother of Friedrich von Tschudi, author of 
the " Thierleben der Alpenwelt." 

Mr. Richard Edmunds, a student of 
extraordinary agitations of the sea and 
earthquake-shocks, and of antiquities, died 
recently at Plymouth, England, in his 
eighty-fifth year. The results of his seis- 
mological investigations are published in 
the " Edinburgh New Philosophical Jour- 
nal," the British Association Reports, and 
the " Transactions of the Royal Society of 
Cornwall." He also published, in 1862, a 
book on the " Antiquities, Natural History, 
Natural Phenomena, and Scenery of the 
Land's End District." 

Dr. T. Spencer Cobbold, Fellow of the 
Roval and Linnaean Societies, has recently 
died. He was born in 1 828, and received a 
medical education in practice and at the 
University of Edinburgh. He was an emi- 
nent physician and medical professor. He 
devoted much attention to the study of 
morphology and the investigation of the 
life-history of animal parasites. He pre- 
pared the article on " Ruminantia " for the 
" Cvclopaedia of Anatomy and Physiology." 
In 1868 he was appointed, by the Trustees 
of the British Museum, Swiney Professor of 




JULY, 1886. 


TAXATION. Of all the economic features of Mexico there is no 
one more novel, interesting, and instructive, and withal more 
antagonistic in its influence to the development of the country, than 
the system by which the Government Federal, State, and municipal 
raises the revenue essential to defray its necessary expenditures. 

The general characteristics of the Mexican tariff, or system of tax- 
ing imports, have been already noticed. But one altogether anoma- 
lous and absurd feature of it remains to be pointed out. In all truly 
civilized countries, when foreign articles or merchandise have once 
satisfied all customs requirements at a port, or place of entry, and 
have been permitted to pass the frontier, they are exempted from any 
further taxation as imports, or so long as they retain such a distinctive 
character.* But, in Mexico, each State of the republic has practically 
its own custom-house system ; and levies taxes on all goods domes- 
tic and foreign passing its borders ; and then, in turn, the several 
towns of the States again assess all goods entering their respective 
precincts. The rate of State taxation, being determined by the several 
State Legislatures, varies, and varies continually with each State. In 
the Federal District i. e., the city of Mexico the rate was recently 
two per cent of the national tariff ; but, in the adjoining State of Hi- 
dalgo, it was twelve and a half per cent, and in others it is as high as 
twenty-five per cent. The rate levied by the towns is said to be about 
nine per cent of what the State has exacted ; but in this there is no 

* The right to import is held to carry with it a right to sell on the part of the importer, 
without further restrictions, i. e., in the original packages. Thus, the United States Su- 
preme Court has decided that a license-tax imposed by a State of the Federal Union, as a 
prerequisite to the right to sell an imported article, is equivalent to a duty on imports, 
and in violation of the provision of the Federal Constitution, which prohibits the States 
from imposing import duties ; and the decision has been carefully recognized by the 
authorities of the several States in dealing with imported liquors under local license or 
other restrictive laws. 

vol. xxix. 19 


common rule. Thus, under date of April 9, 1886, an official of the 
Mexican National Railroad writes : " Goods destined for San Luis 
(i. e., via railway) pay a local tax in Laredo, Mexico, but on arrival at 
San Luis pay a municipal tax. These taxes are eternally changing, 
and are sometimes prohibitory. Take lumber, for example. Three 
months ago there was a municipal tax of thirty dollars per one thou- 
sand feet. This has now been reduced to one dollar per one thousand 
feet ; but there is no certainty that the old tax will not be restored." 
Nor is this all. For the transit of every territorial boundary necessi- 
tates inspection, assessment, the preparation of bills of charges, and 
permits for entry ; and all these transactions and papers involve the 
payment of fees, or the purchase and affixing of stamps. Thus, by 
section 377 of the tariff law of December, 1884, it is ordained "that 
the custom-house shall give to every individual who makes any im- 
portation, upon the payment of duties, a certificate of the sum paid, 
which certificate, on being presented to the administrator of the stamp- 
office in the place of importation, shall be changed for an equal amount 
in custom-house stamps. For this operation the interested party shall 
pay, to the administrator of whom he receives the stamps, two per cent 
in money (coin) of the total value of the stamps." All imports into 
Mexico at the present time are liable, therefore, to these multiple as- 
sessments ; and the extent to which they act as a prohibition on trade 
may be best illustrated by a few practical examples. 

In 1885, an American gentleman, residing in the city of Mexico as 
the representative of certain New England business interests, with a 
view of increasing his personal comfort, induced the landlady of the 
hotel where he resided (who, although by birth a Mexican, was of 
Scotch parentage) to order from St. Louis an American cooking-stove, 
with its customary adjuncts of pipes, kettles, pans, etc. In due time 
the stove arrived ; and the following is an exact transcript of the bills 
contingent, which were rendered and paid upon its delivery : 

Original Invoice: 

1 stove weight 282 pounds. 

1 box pipe " 69 " 

1 box stove-furniture " 86 " 

Total 43V pounds, or 1993 kilos. 

Cost in St. Louis, United States currency $26 60 

Exchange at 20 per cent 5 30 

Total $31 80 

Freight from St. Louis to city of Mexico (rail), at $3.16 per 100 

pounds $15 75 

Mexican consular fee at El Paso 4 85 

Stamps at El Paso 45 

Cartage and labor on boxes examined by custom-house at El Paso. 50 

Forwarding commission, El Paso 2 00 

Exchange 16| per cent on $7.64 freight advanced by Mexican Cen- 
tral Railroad 1 25 

$56 60 


Import Duties : 

1 box, 128 kilos (stove), iron, without brass or copper ornaments, 

at 19 cents per kilo $24 42 

1 box, 31*3 kilos, iron pipe, at 24 cents per kilo 7 51 

1 box iron pots, with brass handles, at 24 cents per kilo 9 48 

$41 41 
Add 4 per cent as per tariff 1 65 

$43 06 
Package duty, 50 cents per 100 kilos 1 00 

$44 06 
Add 5 per cent as per tariff 2 20 

$46 26 
Add 2 per cent municipal duty 93 

$47 19 
Add 5 per cent consumption duty 2 36 

$49 55 
Dispatch of goods at Buena Vista station, city of Mexico 38 

Stamps for permit.. . . 50 

$50 43 

$107 03 
Cartage in city of Mexico 75 

Total $107 78 


Original cost of stove, with exchange $31 80 

Freight, consular fees, and forwarding 24 80 

Import duties 50 43 

Cartage 75 

Total $107 78 

[Note. This stove was shipped from El Paso in a lot of goods for Messrs. & 

Co., the largest importing house in Mexico, thereby saving an expense of two thirds the 
consular fee $14.56 which, if paid on the invoice alone, would have added $9.71 to 
charges, and raised the total to $117.49.] 

In 1878 Hon. John W. Foster, then United States minister to 
Mexico, in a communication to the Manufacturers' Association of the 
Northwest (Chicago), thus analyzed the items of the cost, in the city of 
Mexico, of a tierce, weighing gross 328 pounds, containing 300 pounds 
(net) of sugar-cured hams : 

New York cost, 300 pounds at 11 cents $33 00 

New York expenses, such as cartage, consular invoice ($4 gold), manifest, 

etc., average 5 per cent on large shipments 1 65 

Freight from New York to Vera Cruz at 1 cent per pound, payable in New 

York 3 25 

Exchange on New York, $37.90 at 18 per cent 6 82 

Import duties in Vera Cruz, 138 kilos at 24 cents per kilo 33 12 

Municipal duties in Vera Cruz, $1.03 for every 400 pounds 84 

Lighterage and handling from steamer to warehouse ($1 to $1.50 per every 

200 pounds) 1 63 

Maritime brokerage, 2 per cent on freight ($3.25) 07 


Opening and closing barrel 50 

Additional charges in Vera Cruz for stamps and cartage to railroad-station, 

etc 1 50 

Commission in Vera Cruz, 2 per cent on $70.66 1 41 

Exchange on Vera Cruz, 1 per cent on $39.06 39 

Railroad freight from Vera Cruz to Mexico, 140 kilos, at $54.32 a ton 7 60 

Local duties in city of Mexico, 2 per cent on Federal duty, $33.12 66 

Local expenses in city of Mexico, cartage from depot, expenses in custom- 
house, etc . . 75 

Total $93 19 

The net cost of one pound of imported American ham in the city 
of Mexico in 1878 was therefore 31 cents, or $1 in hams in New York 
was equal to $2.82 in Mexico ! 

A similar analysis showed an invoice of ten kegs of cut nails, cost- 
ing two and a half cents per pound in New York, or $22.50, to have 
cost 14-5^- cents per pound, or $141.64, when imported, in the city of 
Mexico ; or $1 value in nails in New York was equal to $0.29 in Mexi- 
co. In the case of salt, costing $2 per barrel in New York, the cost 
of importation was 820.40 ; or $1 of salt in New York was equal to 
$10.20 in Mexico ! And in the case of (Milwaukee) beer, a barrel cost- 
ing, on board steamer in New Orleans, $13, cost $35.61 in the city of 
Mexico. It is clear, therefore, as Mr. Foster points out in connection 
with the above exhibits, " that articles of the most common use in the 
United States must be luxuries in Mexico, on account of their high 
price " ; and that while " this would be the case, with such charges, in 
almost any country, however rich it might be, it is especially so in 
Mexico, where there is so much poverty." 

Again, the Mexican tariff provides that the effects of immigrants 
shall be admitted free. "But this," writes an officer of the Mexican 
National Railroad Company, " is practically a dead letter, from the 
fact that interior duties are levied on everything the immigrant has, 
before he gets settled : and these are so great that no one goes. I've 
never known but one case go through Laredo. ... A carpenter, or 
other mechanic, who desires to get employment in Mexico, has such 
heavy duties levied on his tools on passing the national or State front- 
iers, that few are willing or able to pay them. Hence few American 
mechanics find their way into the country, unless in accordance with 
special contract." 

This practice of locally taxing interstate commerce is in direct 
contravention of an article in the Mexican Constitution of 1857, and 
it is said also of express decisions of the national Supreme Court. 
Several of the leading States of Mexico have at different times tried 
the experiment of prohibiting it by legislative enactments ; but the 
States and municipalities of the country are always hard pressed to 
raise money for their current expenditures, and find the taxing of 
merchandise in transit so easy a method of partially solving their dif- 


Acuities, that the Federal authorities have not yet been able, or, speak- 
ing more correctly, willing to prevent it.* It is important, however, 
to note here that, in the draft of the proposed reciprocity t